The rise of the robots, coming first for our jobs, then maybe our lives, is a growing concern in today’s increasingly automated world. The World Bank chief said the world is on a “crash course” to automate millions of jobs. But a recent report from Germany paints a less dramatic picture: Europe’s strongest economy and manufacturing powerhouse has quadrupled the amount of industrial robots it has installed in the last 20 years, without causing human redundancies.
Photography by AP Photo/Fabian Bimmer
The last time Australia suffered a recession the web browser had just been invented and Bryan Adams topped the charts. Figures released today will show that its economy has racked up the longest stretch of growth in modern history: 104 quarters. The Netherlands, the previous title-holder, dipped into recession—defined as two consecutive quarters of contraction—after 103. In these 26 years, Australia has navigated the Asian financial crisis, the collapse of the dotcom bubble and the Great Recession, largely without scars. Its once-in-a-generation mining boom ended in 2014. Yet it has managed to avoid a bust. How did it break the record for economic growth?
Written by E.A.D.W. for The Economist
Qatar can afford to be generous. It shares the world’s largest gas field with Iran, yet has just 300,000 citizens, making it the richest country per capita. In recent decades, Doha has transformed into a gleaming metropolis of global ambition where luxury cars crowd the streets and world-renowned architects have traced its futuristic skyline. An army of imported laborers is building stadiums and subway lines for the 2022 World Cup. But among fellow Arab states, Qatar’s image has been shaped by its contentious policy of come one, come all.
The apathetic children began showing up in Swedish emergency rooms in the early two-thousands. Their parents were convinced that they were dying. Of what, they didn’t know; they worried about cholera or some unknown plague. Soon patients with the condition filled all the beds in Stockholm’s only psychiatric inpatient unit for children, at Karolinska University Hospital. Göran Bodegård, the director of the unit, told me that he felt claustrophobic when he entered the rooms. “An atmosphere of Michelangelo’s ‘Pietà’ lingered around the child,” he said. The blinds were drawn, and the lights were off. The mothers whispered, rarely spoke to their sick children, and stared into the darkness.
Since 2013, nearly 290,000 refugees and migrants have landed on the Yemeni coast. Nearly 80 percent of these were Ethiopians, and most of the rest were Somalis. Most journey to Yemen in the hope of using it as a transit point, while others look to stay in Yemen, often unaware of the dangers. Between January 2006 and April 2016, more than 700,000 persons reportedly crossed from the Horn of Africa to Yemen, with Somalis mostly staying in Yemen as refugees and Ethiopians travelling onwards to Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries. So why are people from the Horn still trying to reach a conflict-ridden country and what should be done to stop them from embarking on such a dangerous journey?
The Corruptour was dreamt up by a group of friends working for NGOs. “Everyone knows about corruption but imagines it is a monster,” says Patricia de Obeso, an organiser. “We’re trying to break it down and explain how it’s done.” The tourists, a mix of Mexicans and visitors from elsewhere in Latin America, do not buy tickets but are asked for donations...