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    The recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital is reckless

    JERUSALEM is both heavenly and earthly, holy and sinful. “Ten measures of beauty God gave to the world, nine to Jerusalem and one to the rest,” says the Talmud. Sometimes, however, it seems as if ten measures of suffering God gave to the world, nine to Jerusalem and one to the rest. The medieval Arab […] More

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    Worry about the Republicans’ tax bill—and how it was passed

    SOME political theorists argue that the law draws legitimacy not just from voting, but also from public debate before legislation is passed. In voting through a tax-reform bill on December 2nd, Republicans in Congress have tested this principle to destruction. The bill, like most, has its strengths and its weaknesses, but Republicans have rushed it […] More

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    The choice that could save South Africa, or wreck it

    SOUTH AFRICA’S Constitutional Court may be the world’s most emotionally powerful building. The courtroom is built with the bricks of the Old Fort prison, where both Nelson Mandela and Mahatma Gandhi were held. A glass strip around the courtroom, allowing passers-by to see in, represents transparency. Above the entrance, the values of the constitution are […] More

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    Bosses are under increasing pressure to take stances on social issues. How should they respond?

    IT OUGHT to be a love-in. American companies support tax cuts and deregulation. As The Economist went to press, President Donald Trump was pushing the Senate to pass a sweeping, business-friendly tax reform. Instead, CEOs have reason to feel uneasy. In the first year of his presidency, executives have found themselves embroiled in public disputes […] More

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    Europe’s banks are stronger than they were, but not strong enough

    THE permanent revolution rumbles on. Ten years after the financial crisis, Europe’s bankers must wonder whether the regulatory upheaval will ever cease (see article). Next month two European Union directives start to bite. MiFID2 will make trading more transparent and oblige banks to charge clients separately for research; PSD2 will expose banks to more competition […] More

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    Chinese cities should stop expelling Chinese migrants

    IN ALL countries, a big influx of migrants tends to provoke grumbles among the natives. In China, however, the migrants most frequently grumbled about, and treated with the greatest hostility, are not foreigners but other Chinese: rural folk who move to the cities in search of a better life. This has been on show in […] More

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    The fate of the Irish frontier shows the compromises that Brexit entails

    NORTHERN IRELAND barely featured in last year’s Brexit referendum campaign, in which Britons were more interested in matters of migration and money. Yet the future of the 500km border that separates the North from the Irish Republic—and which will soon separate the United Kingdom from the European Union—has become one of the trickiest issues of […] More

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    Philip Hammond’s cautious budget grimly reflects Britain’s state

    THE glass of booze that chancellors of the exchequer may sip while delivering the budget speech is well deserved. High economics, low politics and bad jokes combine in an hour-long monologue before a baying crowd. Philip Hammond, who presented his budget on November 22nd, had it harder than most. The deficit still yawns, voters are […] More

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    A baffling week for competition policy in America

    WHY is America’s Department of Justice (DoJ) trying to block a merger between AT&T, a telecoms giant, and Time Warner, a media conglomerate? Simple, say some: President Donald Trump has it in for CNN, which is owned by Time Warner. It matters to the independence of America’s trustbusters whether Mr Trump’s tastes have steered the […] More

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    Marriage is more rewarding—but also more upmarket. That is a problem

    MARRIAGE idealises permanence, and yet it is changing more rapidly than at any time in its history. Almost everywhere it is becoming freer, more equal and more satisfying. As our special report this week explains, wedlock has become so good that it is causing trouble. The most benign changes are taking place in poor and […] More

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    A hated tax but a fair one

    NO TAX is popular. But one attracts particular venom. Inheritance tax is routinely seen as the least fair by Britons and Americans. This hostility spans income brackets. Indeed, surveys suggest that opposition to inheritance and estate taxes (one levied on heirs and the other on legacies) is even stronger among the poor than the rich. […] More

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