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EsadeGeo Daily Digest, 19/10/2020

EsadeGeo Daily Digest, 19/10/2020

Financial Times – Thomas Hale, Christian Shepherd and Emma Zhou / Chinese economy expands 4.9% in third quarter

  • China’s economy expanded 4.9 per cent year-on-year in the third quarter as industrial growth continues to power the country’s recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.
  • The expansion in gross domestic product missed expectations but was still well ahead of a 3.2 per cent increase in the second quarter and represented a sharp turnround from a historic decline at the start of the year.
  • Industrial production in China leapt by 6.9 per cent in September — its highest level this year and the same rate as in December before the coronavirus outbreak.
  • Retail sales, which lagged behind the wider recovery, also recorded their best performance this year, beating expectations to rise 3.3 per cent last month. In August, retail sales had added 0.5 per cent after seven straight months of decline.
  • The New York Times – Keith Bradsher / With Covid-19 under control, China’s economy surges ahead

Bloomberg – Tim Ross / U.K. ready to rewrite lawbreaking Brexit bill to get EU deal

  • British officials are prepared to water down Boris Johnson’s controversial lawbreaking Brexit legislation in a move that could revive failing talks with the European Union, according to people familiar with the matter.
  • Negotiations over the two sides’ future relationship have stalled, with the prime minister announcing on Friday that he will focus on preparations to leave the EU’s single market and customs union at the year-end without a trade deal.
  • One obstacle negotiators face is rebuilding the trust that was badly damaged by Johnson’s U.K. Internal Market Bill, which rewrites parts of the Brexit withdrawal deal he struck with the EU last year. 
  • Some government officials said they expected Johnson to drop, or dilute, the most difficult sections of the law if he secures an overarching trade deal with the EU, potentially as part of the negotiations with the bloc.
  • Politico – Cristina Gallardo / Brexit negotiators keep talking but Boris Johnson warns UK to prepare for no-deal

The Guardian – Eleanor Ainge Roy and Charlotte Graham-McLay / Jacinda Ardern to govern New Zealand for second term after historic victory

  • Jacinda Ardern will govern New Zealand for a second term after the Labour party secured a historic landslide victory in the general election, attracting so many votes it could become the first party in decades to be able to govern alone.
  • Ardern’s deft handling of the Covid-19 outbreak and resolute belief in science and experts was credited with earning the trust of New Zealanders, who cast early votes in record numbers, giving her party more votes than at any other election in the past five decades.
  • With nearly 100% of the vote counted, Labour had secured 49%, with the opposition National party on 27%. Labour was expected to win 64 of the 120 seats in parliament, and National, 35. It is the best result for the Labour party in 50 years.
  • Ardern thanked the nation for the strong mandate. She said elections “don’t have to be divisive” and promised to govern with cooperation and positivity, adding that New Zealand could set an example by showing elections don’t have to mean people “tear one another apart”.
  • The Atlantic – Yasmeen Serhan / Jacinda Ardern’s job will only get harder

The Economist / The beheading of a teacher will harden France’s belief in secularism

  • At the the start of this month, Emmanuel Macron headed to the town of Les Mureaux, in the Yvelines department north-west of Paris, to warn the French about the rising threat of “Islamist separatism”. This is a radical political project, the president declared, which is testing the resilience of the secular French republic.
  • At the time, Mr Macron was accused in some quarters of cynically chasing the far-right vote, and in others of stigmatising Muslims. The beheading of a middle-school history teacher on October 17th, however, which the police are treating as an act of terrorism, has rendered Mr Macron’s analysis less extravagant than prescient.
  • The teacher, Samuel Paty, was murdered following threats he received for showing pupils caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad during a class on freedom of expression. (He had apparently invited those who might be upset to leave the classroom before he did so.)
  • France finds it unusually complicated to talk about religion in public life, and does so in ways that liberal multicultural countries often find difficult to understand. The land of Voltaire protects the right to believe, and not to believe, as well as the right to treat any sacred belief with irreverence.
  • The Washington Post – James McAuley / Gruesome details emerge in beheading of French teacher who showed students Muhammad cartoons

Today’s interview:

The selected pieces do not necessarily reflect the views of Javier Solana and EsadeGeo. The summaries above may include word-for-word excerpts from their respective pieces.


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