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The Economist: The absent student: How covid-19 will change college - No.32 - 8th Aug 20

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ạp chí The Economist là tạp chí uy tín của Anh với lịch sử hơn 176 năm hình thành. The Economist nổi tiếng với văn phong hàn lâm, chuyên sâu về các vấn đề chính trị, kinh tế trên toàn thế giới. Mỗi tuần có hơn 1.7 triệu bản đến tay độc giả trên 200 quốc gia. Hiện ấn bản nhập về Việt Nam là phiên bản cho khu vực Châu Á - Thái Bình Dương.

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The Economist: The absent student: How covid-19 will change college

 

A big blast should lead to big change in Lebanon

So powerful was the explosion that rocked Beirut on August 4th that people in Cyprus, 240km (150 miles) away, thought they had suffered an earthquake. Scores of people died and thousands were injured in the blast, which left the port in ruins. The Lebanese government says it was caused by 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate, which can be used as fertiliser or as an explosive (see article). This appears to have been confiscated years ago from an abandoned Russian-owned cargo ship heading to Mozambique. Customs officials proposed exporting the stuff, giving it to the army or selling it to an explosives company—but they needed the judiciary’s approval. Their repeated requests were met with silence. So the material sat in a warehouse at the port.

 

What kind of government leaves a mountain of explosive chemicals lying around unsafely for the better part of a decade? The same kind that cannot agree on a budget for 11 years and that let its central bank run a Ponzi scheme to defend its unrealistic currency peg. The kind which is so deluded that it relies on aid, loans and remittances, spending far more than it collects in taxes. The kind that is controlled by an out-of-touch elite who fiddle and extort while the economy burns. In short, it is the government of Lebanon—and it is in desperate need of reform.

 

Forced sales are the wrong way to deal with Chinese tech

In december 2017 a Chinese technology firm called ByteDance bought Musical.ly, an app which let its young users dance and lip-sync to music videos. This did not, at the time, look like a recipe for geopolitical strife. ByteDance merged Musical.ly with a similar app called TikTok, which started growing at a blistering pace. Today TikTok has 100m users in America, and competes with Facebook and Snap. With growing popularity has come growing scrutiny, as Sino-American tensions spread from trade to tech, and a barrage of invective from President Donald Trump. This looks set to culminate in a forced sale of TikTok’s American business to a domestic buyer. Touted as vital to protect Americans’ data, the crackdown is in fact a depressing example of jingoistic opportunism, more likely to chill investment in America and stoke Chinese nationalism.

 

The legal basis for TikTok’s divestment comes from the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (cfius), which this week ruled that the Musical.ly deal was against America’s national-security interests. Having flirted with banning TikTok altogether, Mr Trump now seems willing to accept a fire-sale. Microsoft, an American software giant, is in talks to buy TikTok’s American operations, as well as those in New Zealand, Australia and Canada 

 

The world is spending nowhere near enough on a coronavirus vaccine

Consider the following thought experiment. If you fail to eat a pizza within an hour, you will die from hunger. What do you do? Most people would immediately order a pizza—and not just one Margherita, but lots of them, from several different parlours. In order to maximise the chances that at least one pizzeria got you what you needed in time, you would not care that some of the pizza would be sure to go to waste.

 

Check out more at: https://www.economist.com/weeklyedition/2020-08-08

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