The Economist explains
Subjects topical and timeless, profound and peculiar, explained with The Economist's trademark clarity and brevity
Why Poland is halting its supply of weapons to Ukraine
A row over duty-free grain has escalated rapidly—but Poland’s government is also posturing
Could the 14th Amendment bar Donald Trump from becoming president again?
Some conservative legal scholars think so—but the idea is a long shot
What is Khalistan, the independent homeland some Sikhs yearn for?
The separatist movement is now largely propagated from abroad
Will India change its name to Bharat?
Rebranding might excite some Hindu nationalists, but would be painful
Why America’s Republicans want to bomb Mexico
Donald Trump’s aggressive rhetoric has entered the mainstream of his party
What are Hycean worlds, a proposed new habitat for life?
Astronomers may have found a new type of life-friendly planet
Why Venice will charge tourists to enter
Some hotspots are seriously overcrowded. But the allure of the tourist dollar is hard to resist
How to escape from prison
It is getting harder but remains possible, as Daniel Khalife proved
Why France is banning Muslim clothing in schools (again)
Some politicians believe that the country’s secular tradition is at stake
A primer on Trump’s criminal trials
They will shape the drama of next year’s presidential election
What is Australia’s “Voice to Parliament”?
The country will vote on whether to give Aboriginal people a constitutional right to consultation
Why some British school buildings might be unsafe
And why reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete crumbles
What is El Niño?
For the first time in seven years, the weather pattern is back
What is “friendshoring”?
Western policymakers want to move supply chains to friendly countries
How Europe’s new digital law will change the internet
The “Brussels effect” may fizzle when the long-awaited Digital Services Act is put into action
Donald Trump and the history of the mugshot
The former president finally gets his close-up
Can Parkinson’s disease be detected with an eye exam?
So-called “ocular biomarkers” may provide insights into brain health
What the Inflation Reduction Act has achieved in its first year
Big investments in green energy and health care have gone unnoticed by most Americans
How dangerous is tranq, the new drug sweeping America?
It comes with grim side-effects and there is no antidote
Imran Khan’s legal troubles
Corruption is not the reason Pakistan’s former prime minister had to go to prison
Why was RICO, a mafia-targeting act, used to charge Donald Trump?
The legislation is a powerful and increasingly flexible tool
Why are Moscow’s air defences performing so badly?
The city is curiously unprepared for drone attacks
What is the future of the BRICS?
Vladimir Putin’s absence at a forthcoming annual summit reflects a broader struggle between its members
Who is Kim Yo Jong, North Korea’s propagandist-in-chief?
Kim Jong Un’s sister is often the voice of his displeasure
What makes ultra-processed foods so bad for your health?
They are calorie-rich, nutrient-poor and hard to stop eating
What is nuclear fusion?
A long-hyped green technology is about to face its reality check
How could FPV drones change warfare?
The light “kamikaze” drones used in Ukraine are cheap and lethal
Have scientists really found a room-temperature superconductor?
A breakthrough could improve all electric and magnetic devices
What is AMOC, the heat-distributing Atlantic current?
A slowdown in the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation would have disastrous effects
What will be the impact of India’s rice-export ban?
Global rice prices will soar, and poor countries will bear the brunt
Can superstars like Beyoncé or Taylor Swift spur inflation?
Some economists think that tours by big acts drive up the consumer-price index
How two new munitions could affect the war in Ukraine
GLSDB and ATACMS have long strike ranges that Ukraine badly wants
Why Russia’s bombings of Ukrainian ports have jolted wheat prices
Global supplies of grain are plentiful for now, but at greater risk
How many irregular migrants go missing?
Thousands disappear every year, but their bodies may never be found
What happens when extreme weather hits several places at once?
The effects of concurrent disasters can be greater than the sum of their parts
Why developing the world’s first malaria vaccine has taken so long
The jab is expected to save tens of thousands of children’s lives each year
When GPS fails, how can weapons find their targets?
The location system is vulnerable to jamming by the enemy
Why a cancer scare around aspartame is mostly unfounded
Lovers of Diet Coke have little to fear
Why is Turkey blocking Sweden from joining NATO?
Turkey is seeking military and political concessions, but may be overplaying its hand
How AI image-generators work
Some are getting good enough to fool humans
Why Hong Kong is criminalising a song
And what it means for global tech platforms that allow people to stream it
Can Russia’s navy thwart attacks by repainting its ships?
Old-fashioned deception has new benefits in an age of AI and drones
Why America has rejoined UNESCO
It is not the first time that America has quit and re-entered
What long-term security guarantees will the West give Ukraine?
Allies will offer arms, intelligence and aid for years to come—but not yet NATO membership
How much power does Alexander Lukashenko have?
The Belarusian strongman is unruly, but dependent on Russia
What happened when Russia’s air force attacked Wagner’s rebels?
The mercenaries’ downing of several aircraft is another embarrassment for Moscow
Why an American novel set in Russia was pulled from publication
Art by Russians or about Russia has been reappraised in some circles since the invasion of Ukraine
Why Reddit users are protesting against the site’s leadership
Plans to make the social-media firm profitable are clashing with its users’ libertarian ethos
How ESG became part of America’s culture wars
A focus on social issues by big business has angered some Republicans
Why the rainbow flag is now one of many during Pride month
Flag designs have proliferated as the celebration of gay rights has become more inclusive
Can the Titan submersible be rescued?
The vessel lost contact with the surface during a dive to tour the Titanic wreckage
How are people appointed to Britain’s House of Lords?
Controversially, prime ministers who resign are able to propose new peers
How do languages with grammatical gender handle non-binary people?
Inclusive terms and grammar are easier to craft in some languages than others
Are cryptocurrencies securities?
America’s stock regulator is about to test its view of the asset class in court
Who is Oleksandr Syrsky, the head of Ukraine’s ground forces?
The colonel-general is in operational control over the latest counter-offensive
How drugs and alcohol have fuelled soldiers for centuries
Russians in Ukraine seem to rely on copious amounts of liquor and, in some cases, hard drugs
How the breach of Ukraine’s Kakhovka dam could affect a nuclear plant
Water that would cool the Zaporizhia power plant is rushing out of the reservoir
Why is there trouble in Kosovo again?
The north, where almost the entire population is part of the Serbian minority, has never accepted the country’s independence
How Hong Kong is snuffing out memories of Tiananmen Square
But there is more scope for commemoration than on the mainland
Why is North Korea trying to launch a satellite?
Eyes in the sky serve a variety of purposes
What does “de-risking” trade with China mean?
Europe wants to reduce its exposure to, but not decouple from, the country
Why America has so many banks
Their numerousness can cause confusion—and brings both benefits and risks
Who are the pro-Ukrainian militias raiding Russia’s Belgorod region?
They have links to Ukrainian military intelligence and, in some cases, to the far right
What happens when Belarus loses its dictator?
Alexander Lukashenko’s death would trigger a tussle for succession
Can nets protect against kamikaze drones in Ukraine?
The technology has been used for centuries
How free and fair will Turkey’s election be?
The polls are closer than they have been since Recep Tayyip Erdogan came to power 20 years ago
Why the boss of Wagner Group is feuding with Russia’s military leaders
Yevgeny Prigozhin, commander of a Russian mercenary force, is losing influence
Why has America’s financial regulator paid out more than $1bn to tipsters?
The SEC whistleblower programme appears to be a rip-roaring success
What is quantitative tightening?
Central banks are contracting their balance-sheets
Why are migrants to Europe fleeing from and through Tunisia?
An ailing economy and tough border measures elsewhere along Africa’s north coast are to blame
What is the special district at the heart of Disney’s feud with Ron DeSantis?
The Reedy Creek Improvement District, set up in 1967, is an American curiosity—and made Disney World possible
How a 19th-century law could upend abortion access in America
The Comstock Act banned the posting of abortion supplies—and was never fully repealed
Why India’s population is about to overtake China’s
For the first time in recorded history, China will not be the world’s biggest country
Why Joe Biden hasn’t announced he is running again—yet
Time is on his side, for now
Why Winnie-the-Pooh makes Xi Jinping uncomfortable
China’s censors have declared the cuddly bear ursus-non-gratus
Does the First Amendment protect threatening language?
America’s Supreme Court considers the role of intent in menacing statements
Why is Sudan on the brink of civil war, again?
The country is especially prone to civil war and coups
Why is Ukraine suing eastern European countries over grain?
Hungary, Poland and Slovakia claim that a duty-free influx is spoiling the market
Why Russia is deporting Ukrainian children
“Re-education” camps are part of Vladimir Putin’s mission to eradicate Ukrainian identity
Why so many Russian tanks fall prey to Ukrainian mines
With the right help, tanks should be able to cross minefields
How to measure poverty
Counting the poor is the first step towards alleviating their plight
What to make of Israel’s new national guard
The force will be a publicly funded militia led by an ultra-nationalist
Who is Juan Merchan, the judge overseeing Donald Trump’s arraignment?
This is not the first Trump-related case he has presided over
What is a consumer price index?
A measure of inflation, and a tool to guide central bankers
Is your money safe in American banks?
Recent bank runs have spooked depositors
Who is Alvin Bragg, the district attorney taking on Donald Trump?
The controversy surrounding the investigation has thrust Mr Bragg into the spotlight
Why is Taiwan losing its friends?
China is hoovering up the island’s allies with “chequebook diplomacy”
How did Lebanon end up with two rival time zones?
The chaotic switch to daylight savings time is emblematic of the country’s politics
How racing drones are used as improvised missiles in Ukraine
They are light, fast and cheap
Where did covid-19 come from?
There are two opposing theories: zoonosis, and a leak from a lab
Who is Shou Zi Chew, TikTok’s chief executive?
He is desperate to convince American legislators that the social-media app is harmless
What are Additional-Tier 1 bonds?
The securities are designed to prevent the need for government bail-outs of precarious banks
How remittances affect a country’s development
They lift people out of poverty—but the cost to send money is much higher than it should be
How Belarus’s role in the invasion of Ukraine could grow
It can offer ammunition and morgues, but not military might
What to make of a clash between a Russian jet and an American drone
Aerial interceptions are common. Collisions are vanishingly rare
Why Russian women are flying to Argentina to give birth
The country offers visa-free entry and birthright citizenship
What is the AUKUS pact?
It is about more than just submarines
How to make sense of intelligence leaks
Secrets, such as reports that covid-19 originated in a Chinese lab, can be explosive. But leaks can also be flimsy
Who blew up the Nord Stream pipelines?
Lots of blame, no hard evidence
Why a new UN treaty to safeguard the “high seas” matters
Long-neglected international waters will finally receive more protection

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