Serendeputy - your personal news assistant.

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IN AN unusual 8-1 split, with Justice Sonia Sotomayor as the lone dissenter, the Supreme Court issued a ruling on Monday that whittles away at the Fourth Amendment protection against “unreasonable searches and seizures.” The case, Heien v North Carolina,...
From: The Economist | Tuesday, December 16, 2014
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WAR photography is frequently associated with black-and-white images taken in the heart of action, such as Robert Capa's shots of the Allied invasion of Normandy and the death of a militiaman in the Spanish civil war. Such pictures helped make Capa...
From: The Economist | Monday, December 15, 2014
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ALEXANDRE DESPLAT has worked with a pantheon of directors that includes Roman Polanski, Stephen Frears, Terrence Malick, Kathryn Bigelow, Ang Lee and Wes Anderson. He’s a composer specialising in film scores whose job starts in earnest when the directors...
From: The Economist | Wednesday, December 17, 2014
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JEB BUSH, the former Florida governor, presidential son and brother, once said that he would only mount his own White House bid if he could do it “joyfully”. After months of speculation, on December 16th Mr Bush announced his decision to “actively...
From: The Economist | Tuesday, December 16, 2014
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EARTH aside, Mars is the most-studied planet in the solar system. Over the past half century a fleet of probes has photographed it, prodded it, sniffed it and blasted it with lasers. Most of the data those probes have gathered suggest Mars is biologically...
From: The Economist | Tuesday, December 16, 2014
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THINK Agatha Christie and the Orient Express. Or James Bond returning from Russia with love (and Tatiana Romanova). Or perhaps Tony Curtis in drag, wooing an unsuspecting Marilyn Monroe. Sleeper trains occupy a romantic corner of travellers’ souls.But...
From: The Economist | Tuesday, December 16, 2014
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STUDIO GHIBLI, the animation studio behind the Oscar-winning feature film “Spirited Away”, has frequently been described as Japan’s answer to Disney. It’s perhaps closer to the truth to call it Japan’s antidote to Disney. Studio Ghibli’s...
From: The Economist | Tuesday, December 16, 2014
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IF THERE is one thing worse than a huge rise in interest rates designed to stabilise your currency, it is a huge rise in rates that fails to stabilise your currency. The Russian rouble fell briefly to 80/$ today. It only hit 60/$ yesterday and the fall...
From: The Economist | Tuesday, December 16, 2014
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IN THE world of central banking, slow and steady is the aim. So when a central bank raises interest rates by a massive 6.5 percentage points, and imposes the hike at midnight—as Russia's did on December 15th—it is a sign that something is going very...
From: The Economist | Tuesday, December 16, 2014
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China's property market Audio and Video content on Economist.com requires a browser that can handle iFrames.JUST how bad is China’s housing bubble? One important measure—the most important for those trying to get a foot on the property ladder—is...
From: The Economist | Tuesday, December 16, 2014
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AUTHOR'S NOTE: this post has nothing to do with finance but is merely a diversion for the holidays. Merry Christmas to all.Guests who casually glanced into a conference room in the Selsdon Park hotel, just south of London, in August might easily have...
From: The Economist | Tuesday, December 16, 2014
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THIS week: Russia's deepening economic crisis, consolidation in European telecoms and the business climate in IsraelContinue reading...
From: The Economist | Monday, December 15, 2014
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Door 15A round-up of the year’s most popular infographicsA new door on our 2014 Advent calendar is ready to open here, the third in a collection of the 24 most popular maps, charts, data visualisations and interactive features published on our site...
From: The Economist | Monday, December 15, 2014
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FLYERS using London Heathrow had another miserable time this weekend. A computer problem at the air-traffic control centre at Swanwick, which oversees flights above much of England and Wales, meant that airspace over the capital was closed for 36 minutes...
From: The Economist | Monday, December 15, 2014
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THE American political world offered two rather different responses to the White House’s announcement on December 17th that full diplomatic relations with Cuba are to resume within months. One take was noisily partisan, with talk about what this might...
From: The Economist | Wednesday, December 17, 2014
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VLADIMIR PUTIN has successfully suppressed dissent, squeezed out opposition and clamped down on the media, but he has not been able to control global financial markets. In recent days the rouble has collapsed; it has lost almost 40% of its value over...
From: The Economist | Wednesday, December 17, 2014
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THE sun is setting on Waikiki Beach, and Koa still has a few hours before his 9pm shift cleaning the food court at the Ala Moana mall. “I’m trying to better myself,” he says, but being homeless makes this tough. He finishes work at 3am, well past...
From: The Economist | Wednesday, December 17, 2014
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EVEN with the best will in the world—which, in 2014, has not been conspicuously forthcoming—the outgoing year could not be regarded as one of the planet’s finest. Between war, disease and insurrection, the past 12 months have often seemed a gory...
From: The Economist | Wednesday, December 17, 2014
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IN A bar at the edge of the French Quarter, Voltaire Casino, a 30-something teacher, sips a beer, sucks on a cigarette and discusses politics. Jazz is in the air and the ceiling is a haze of fumes: it is a picture New Orleans has sold to the world for...
From: The Economist | Wednesday, December 17, 2014
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A city shocked THE siege on December 15th in the Lindt Chocolate Café in Martin Place, in the heart of Sydney’s business district, was the first terrorist act in Australia based on a political message about Islam. The morning had started with regulars...
From: The Economist | Wednesday, December 17, 2014
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HONG KONG’S government and its masters in Beijing are not exactly declaring victory, but they must be feeling satisfied. On December 15th police quietly tidied away the last of the barricades that had been set up in late September, when student-led...
From: The Economist | Wednesday, December 17, 2014
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JUST how bad is China’s housing bubble? One important measure—the most important for those trying to get a foot on the property ladder—is affordability. Many believe that Chinese housing prices have soared well beyond the reach of ordinary people....
From: The Economist | Wednesday, December 17, 2014
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Abe bats again THE general election on December 14th cost ¥63 billion (over $500m), and came just two years after the previous one. So many Japanese could not see the point of it that only 52.7% of voters went to the polls—a post-war low. Yet for...
From: The Economist | Wednesday, December 17, 2014
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COULD São Paulo run out of water? The idea of South America’s biggest metropolis, home to 20m people, lacking something so basic seems fanciful. Yet shortages this year have forced schools to suspend classes and restaurants to shut in smaller towns...
From: The Economist | Wednesday, December 17, 2014
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IT WAS the most sustained street campaign for democracy in China since the Tiananmen Square protests in 1989. Yet the protests in Hong Kong ended very differently. Instead of using tanks and machine-guns to clear the streets, police in Hong Kong ended...
From: The Economist | Wednesday, December 17, 2014
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ON DECEMBER 22nd an odd couple—Nicaragua’s left-wing government and a Chinese-born telecoms magnate—say they will begin the realisation of a dream that has captivated Nicaraguans for generations: the construction of an inter-oceanic canal to rival...
From: The Economist | Wednesday, December 17, 2014
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What to do about Cyprus?SIR – You described the options for solving the Cyprus problem as “Intractable—or insoluble?” (November 29th). It is neither, unless one is willing to accept that a stronger state can forcefully dismember one of its neighbours;...
From: The Economist | Wednesday, December 17, 2014
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IT TAKES something unusually vile for the world to pay much attention to a terrorist outrage in Pakistan. Since 2007 the annual toll of murders by jihadists has never dropped below 2,000 and in 2012 and 2013 it was not far off 4,000. This year has actually...
From: The Economist | Wednesday, December 17, 2014
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IN NIGERIA’S capital, Lagos, the candle-like minarets of the Central Mosque look out over streets and alleyways filled with a plethora of churches and cathedrals. Yet these two Abrahamic religions do not co-exist quite as peacefully in many other parts...
From: The Economist | Wednesday, December 17, 2014
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JEB BUSH, a former governor of Florida, son and brother of presidents, once said that he would mount his own White House bid only if he could do it “joyfully”. After months of speculation, on December 16th Mr Bush announced his decision to “actively...
From: The Economist | Wednesday, December 17, 2014
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AS THE people of Xi’an file through the subway and along underpasses, rush past bus stops and buildings, they pass hundreds of posters. Some of these advertise the newest smartphone or fancy car, but many tout less marketable commodities: the importance...
From: The Economist | Wednesday, December 17, 2014
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THE idea of the Christmas truce is a potent one. A celebrated example took place in December 1914, when first-world-war troops climbed warily from trenches at points along the Western Front. As freezing fog swirled, British and allied soldiers met German...
From: The Economist | Wednesday, December 17, 2014
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THERE has been no let-up in the raucous protests wracking Haiti, despite Laurent Lamothe’s resignation as prime minister on December 14th. Two days later, thousands of protesters once again thronged the centre of Port-au-Prince, the capital, dancing...
From: The Economist | Wednesday, December 17, 2014
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BRUCE RAUNER, a Republican, liked to talk tough about unions and public-sector pensions when he was campaigning for governor in Illinois. “The system is full of fraud and self-dealing and abuses, such as folks who have a pay rise in the last years...
From: The Economist | Wednesday, December 17, 2014
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IN THE world of central banking slow, steady and predictable decisions are the aim. So when bankers meet in the dead of night and raise interest rates by a massive 6.5 percentage points it suggests something is going very wrong. It is: the Russian currency...
From: The Economist | Tuesday, December 16, 2014
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