The Economist explains
Subjects topical and timeless, profound and peculiar, explained with The Economist's trademark clarity and brevity
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 the toughening of border measures elsewhere along the 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The Comstock Act banned the posting of abortion supplies—and was never fully repealed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 are eastern European countries banning Ukrainian produce?
Farmers say 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
How the new generation of weight-loss drugs work
They were intended to treat diabetes. Their other benefits were discovered by accident
Why statelessness is bad for countries and people
Millions lack citizenship around the world, putting them in a precarious position
How quickly can Russia rebuild its tank fleet?
It has one tank factory, and is increasingly reliant on refurbishing old models
Why did “sensitivity readers” revise Roald Dahl’s books?
Specialist editors look for terms they think will cause offence
How a chatbot has turned Ukrainian civilians into digital resistance fighters
They are using eVorog to gather military intelligence—putting themselves in danger
What are “golden visas”?
And why they are so controversial, especially in Europe
What is Section 230?
A law regulating web communications comes before the Supreme Court
How AI chatbots could change online search
They will supply tailor-made answers and create new markets
Will avian flu be the next human pandemic?
The virus has spread from birds to mammals, heightening the risk
How the “nine-dash line” fuels tensions in the South China Sea
China has co-opted a cartographic mistake to bully its neighbours
What is short-selling?
For nearly as long as the stockmarket has been around, people have been betting against it
How drones dogfight above Ukraine
A growing number of drone-on-drone attacks shows how aerial warfare may develop
What made the earthquake in Turkey and Syria so deadly?
In addition to the quake’s sheer strength, the area was ill-prepared for such a disaster
How do you brew non-alcoholic beer?
The industry is growing rapidly, thanks to improved techniques
Why does Ukraine want Western jets—and will it get them?
Russia’s air force has not yet gained the upper hand. That could soon change
Who is Gautam Adani?
India’s richest man avoids the limelight
Why is the French pension age so low?
A low retirement age is part of the country’s national mythology
What exactly is Emmanuel Macron’s policy on Ukraine?
The French president seems to be growing more hawkish
What makes Germany’s Leopard 2 tank the best fit for Ukraine?
It is easier to run than America’s Abrams—and in plentiful supply in Europe
Could Congressman George Santos be prosecuted for lying to voters?
Surprisingly, some American states criminalise campaign-trail fibbing. Courts have tended to overrule those laws
Who are the Syrian Democratic Forces?
The Kurdish-led militia defeated Islamic State but its enemies are circling
How gas stoves became part of America’s culture wars
A proposal to ban them has inflamed some Republicans
Who is Valery Gerasimov, Russia’s latest commander in Ukraine?
His appointment may temper the influence of the Wagner Group
How humans healed the ozone layer
Catastrophic harms to human health and the climate have been avoided
Who is J.R. Moehringer, Prince Harry’s ghostwriter?
A literary midwife to celebrities, especially those with troubled childhoods
What is the House Freedom Caucus?
A band of far-right Republicans wield more power in America’s Congress than ever before
Why does South Korea pardon its corrupt leaders?
Claims that clemency promotes national unity are unconvincing
What is a tank—and does France’s gift to Ukraine fit the bill?
Defining one is harder than you think
Who is Andrew Tate, the misogynist hero to millions of young men?
The social influencer has been arrested on suspicion of human trafficking
Is Russia running out of ammunition?
Many of its shells are probably older than the conscripts firing them
How to design a perfect World Cup
Balance fairness, global representation and opportunities for drama
How to understand 2022 in memes
What distracted The Economist this year
What are the allegations against Hunter Biden?
Republicans have President Joe Biden’s son in their sights
What caused the demise of Boeing’s 747 airliner?
The end has come for the world’s most iconic passenger jet
Why is there another COP happening?
The UN’s “biodiversity COP” summits receive far less attention than the gatherings that tackle climate change
Who is Viktor Bout?
Dubbed the “merchant of death”, the Russian arms-dealer has been swapped for Brittney Griner
Why are children dying of Strep A?
Infections are rising across the northern hemisphere. Some have been deadly
Why Darjeeling tea may face extinction
Knockoff teas from Nepal are stealing global demand and climate change is shrinking supply
Can hydropower help ease Europe’s energy crisis?
After a parching summer, reservoirs were depleted—but the outlook for 2023 is more promising
Why has America’s army recruitment plummeted?
The pandemic is only one reason
Why Republican donors on Wall Street are abandoning Donald Trump
It was always a marriage of convenience; now they see him as a loser
Why are boys doing badly at school?
Peer pressure, poor schooling and biology may all contribute
What is long-termism?
It is an important component of “effective altruism”, a moral view most famously espoused by Sam Bankman-Fried
How is Ukraine’s software industry weathering the war?
The sector has proved resilient, but the outlook is darkening
Is Ticketmaster a monopoly?
Perhaps—but the legal bar to an antitrust case against the company is high
What is the fossil-fuel industry doing at COP27?
Its representatives are mainly shilling gas
Who is Changpeng Zhao, the chief executive of Binance?
The qualities that have made crypto’s Teflon Man a success could soon land him in trouble
Why is America debating prison labour?
Campaigners want to raise inmates’ pay and improve their working conditions
Who is Alaa Abd el-Fattah?
His challenge to Egypt’s regime has become a matter of life and death
Who is Itamar Ben-Gvir, Israel’s kingmaker?
The far-right nationalist will prop up Binyamin Netanyahu’s government
Why blue New York might turn redder in the midterms
Several of the state’s congressional districts are uncomfortably competitive for Democrats
What will happen to Britain’s mortgages?
The end of cheap borrowing will make the property ladder harder to climb
Has the Ukraine war killed off the ground-attack aircraft?
Russia’s close-air support jets have been decimated
Why are America’s 2022 midterms so expensive?
Blame partisan polarisation, but not only
How might Jair Bolsonaro win Brazil’s election?
The maths still favour Lula, but the economy and hard campaigning will help the incumbent
How much do America’s voting-access reforms affect turnout?
The most divisive laws have the least impact
Why Ukraine’s Orthodox churches are at loggerheads
Its two branches are divided by politics, not faith

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