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My Economist
The world in brief
Catch up quickly on the global stories that matter

Updated 6 hours ago (12:00 GMT+1 / 07:00 New York)

Listen to the briefing(Recorded at 13:15 GMT+1 / 08:15 New York)
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The governor of Luhansk, a region in eastern Ukraine, insisted that “nobody is going to surrender Severodonetsk”—the industrial city which has become the front line of fighting. Russia claims to have “liberated” the residential suburbs. But Britain’s defence ministry said Ukraine appears to be holding the city, despite it being surrounded on three sides. At least 800 civilians are said to be sheltering in a chemicals factory full of highly explosive material.

Angela Merkel, Germany’s chancellor from 2005 to 2021, defended her record of dealing with Vladimir Putin. Mrs Merkel has been criticised for pressing ahead with the now-mothballed Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline meant to link Germany and Russia—but trade with Russia “could not be ignored”, she said. She defended her opposition to a plan from 2008 to bring Georgia and Ukraine into NATO, which, she said, would have been tantamount to a “declaration of war”.

The OECD, a club of mostly rich countries, projected global growth would slow to 3% this year and 2.8% in 2023, sharply down from its previous forecast in December. It blamed the war in Ukraine, which has exacerbated already high inflation. On Tuesday, the World Bank issued a similarly gloomy outlook. Meanwhile Janet Yellen, America’s Treasury secretary, said levels of inflation there have become “unacceptable” and urged both fiscal and monetary action to combat it.

Voters in San Francisco opted to “recall”—oust—their district attorney, Chesa Boudin. In a city often taken to exemplify liberal America, Mr Boudin represented the progressive movement to reform criminal justice. Crime rates held steady through his term but conviction rates for some crimes faltered—just as the public’s appetite for tough policing picked up. The mayor may replace him with someone more moderate.

Credit Suisse, a Swiss bank, issued its third profit warning this year. It predicted a loss in the second-quarter, driven by poor performance in its investment banking division. The bank blamed Ukraine-driven volatility and inflation-driven monetary tightening for the loss. Bloomberg reported that the bank is considering layoffs to cut costs. Its shares fell 7.6% on the news, before recovering slightly.

Malaysia and Turkey joined a growing list of Muslim-majority countries to protest against statements made by a spokesperson for India’s ruling party, in which she disparaged the Prophet Muhammad. The Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party suspended Nupur Sharma on Sunday for her comments, which were televised on May 26th. Now right-wing Indians are irritated that the government has not stood behind its anti-Islamic rhetoric.

Target, an American big-box retailer, lowered its profit forecast, saying it is holding too many unwanted goods in stock. Three weeks after reporting lower-than-expected profits in the first quarter, it said that inventory rose 43% last quarter compared with a year earlier; demand for outdoor furniture and appliances declined faster than expected. Other retailers are also straining under excess inventory.

Fact of the Day: 685m, the number of gamers in China. Now they are battling 33m South Koreans for dominance of e-sports. Read the full article.

Rebuilding Ukraine with Russian money?

If you add the Russian central bank’s currency reserves subject to Western sanctions to the value of other seized goodies, such as superyachts, nearly $400bn-worth of Russian assets have been frozen since the invasion of Ukraine began. And according to the Kyiv School of Economics, the economic damage to Ukraine is around $600bn. To many, therefore, the idea of using those Russian assets to compensate Ukraine for war damage seems irresistible.

Such a plan faces high practical and legal hurdles. For individuals to have their assets confiscated usually requires conviction for a specific crime and evidence that the assets were an instrument of it, or linked to the proceeds from it. Western leaders want to expand the list of crimes that warrant seizure, such as avoiding sanctions. But achieving consensus will be tricky. And the confiscation of state assets would require Western governments to designate Russia a hostile power, which they have shied away from doing.

​​Resisting the invaders in occupied cities

As part of the Ukrainian government’s plans to launch a counter-attack to retake the south, the country’s underground army will be critical. Ukraine claims its partisans have killed more than 100 Russian soldiers in the occupied city of Melitopol, the unofficial capital of the resistance. And they are active elsewhere too. In Izyum, eight Russian soldiers purportedly died after eating pies poisoned by a seemingly friendly old lady.

Ukrainian authorities had hurriedly laid down the basic structure for an insurgency in the months before the war. The underground resistance mixes professional soldiers and volunteers. There is now a national network of secret arms dumps, safe houses and potential sympathisers. A website published by the Special Operations Forces, which co-ordinates the fighters, offers advice about how to organise clandestine resistance (stick to a need-to-know basis), prepare an ambush (ensure clear escape routes) and cope with being arrested (keep calm and hope for the best).

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Getting the grain out

A visit to Serbia on Monday by Russia’s foreign minister had to be abandoned after his plane was denied permission to travel through any of the airspace en route. But Sergei Lavrov had better luck getting to Ankara on Wednesday. The Turkish capital is just a short hop across the Black Sea—the body of water that was the focus of his visit.

At the meeting Mr Lavrov and his Turkish counterpart, Mevlut Cavusoglu, failed to agree on a solution to the looming food crisis caused, in part, by Russia's naval blockade of Ukraine. Mr Lavrov told journalists that Russia endorsed plans to create a safe corridor for ships carrying Ukrainian agricultural products, but said it was up to Ukraine to clear the mines along its Black Sea coast. Turkey has offered to help with that. But Ukraine is wary of such plans, since removing the mines could expose its ports to Russian attacks.

The Gupta capture

From the Great Train Robbery to the looting of $1bn from Iraq’s central bank by Saddam Hussein’s family, the record books have no shortage of massive heists. But surely none would compare with the allegations of South Africa’s “state capture”—monumental graft involving at least 49bn rands ($3.2bn) worth of public contracts being routed through consulting films or shell companies linked to Ajay, Atul and Rajesh Gupta, mostly between 2009 and 2018.

The term was used in a 2016 report by the then public protector that laid out allegations of improper influence over South African politicians by the brothers. (They deny any wrongdoing, describing the allegations against them as politically motivated.) The Guptas’ flamboyant lifestyles in Dubai, where they fled in 2018, rubbed salt in the wound. South Africans now have some hope of justice: on Monday police in the United Arab Emirates arrested Atul and Rajesh in connection with “money laundering and criminal charges”. Yet due process will probably not be swift. Expect a lengthy fight over extradition and, if that succeeds, a drawn-out court case.

America before and after Roe v Wade

“Pregnant? Need help?” a flyer reads: “Call Jane.” In the 1960s and early ’70s a group of women in Chicago helped other women to obtain abortions, which were then illegal. To evade the law, members used “Jane” as a collective pseudonym. “The Janes”, a documentary chronicling their clandestine activities, is appearing on Wednesday on HBO.

The Janes’ efforts began with a helpline directing women to sympathetic doctors. But the organisation eventually performed abortions themselves​​—11,000 in all. The group disbanded in 1973 after the Supreme Court’s ruling in Roe v Wade established a legal right to abortion.

After a draft of another Supreme Court opinion was leaked last month, suggesting that the justices will soon overturn Roe, the film is a timely reminder of what parts of America could look like again. At least 13 states have “trigger laws” that would automatically ban almost all abortions if Roe were reversed. More could follow. Perhaps the Janes will rise again.

Daily quiz

Our baristas will serve you a new question each day this week. On Friday your challenge is to give us all five answers and, as important, tell us the connecting theme. Email your responses (and include mention of your home city and country) by 1700 BST on Friday to We’ll pick randomly from those with the right answers and crown one winner per continent on Saturday.

Wednesday: Who was the first African-American woman elected to Congress?

Tuesday: Which type of tea is named after a British prime minister?

Less is only more where more is no good.

Frank Lloyd Wright

乌克兰东部地区卢甘斯克的州长坚持认为,"没有人会交出塞维罗涅茨克"--这座工业城市已经成为战斗的前线。俄罗斯声称已经 "解放 "了郊区的住宅区。但英国国防部表示,尽管该城市被三面包围,但乌克兰似乎仍在坚守该城市。据说至少有800名平民躲在一个装满高爆炸性材料的化学工厂里。

2005年至2021年期间担任德国总理的安格拉-默克尔为她与普京打交道的记录辩护。默克尔夫人因推进现已停工的旨在连接德国和俄罗斯的北溪2号天然气管道而受到批评,但她说,与俄罗斯的贸易 "不能被忽视"。她为自己在2008年反对将格鲁吉亚和乌克兰纳入北约的计划进行了辩护,她说,这相当于 "宣战"。

经合组织(OECD)是一个主要由富国组成的俱乐部,它预计今年全球经济增长将放缓至3%,2023年为2.8%,与12月时的预测相比大幅下降。它指责乌克兰的战争,这加剧了已经很高的通货膨胀。周二,世界银行发布了类似的黯淡前景。同时,美国财政部长珍妮特-耶伦(Janet Yellen)说,那里的通货膨胀水平已经变得 "不可接受",并敦促采取财政和货币行动来应对这一问题。

旧金山的选民选择了 "召回"--驱逐他们的地区检察官Chesa Boudin。在这个经常被认为是美国自由主义的城市,布丁先生代表了改革刑事司法的进步运动。在他的任期内,犯罪率保持稳定,但一些罪行的定罪率却下降了--就在公众对严厉的治安管理的胃口增加时。市长可能会用更温和的人取代他。

瑞士银行瑞士信贷(Credit Suisse)今年第三次发布盈利警告。它预测第二季度将出现亏损,原因是其投资银行部门的业绩不佳。该银行将损失归咎于乌克兰导致的波动和通货膨胀导致的货币紧缩。彭博社报道,该银行正在考虑裁员以削减成本。其股价受此消息影响下跌7.6%,之后略有回升。













在会议上,拉夫罗夫先生和他的土耳其同行Mevlut Cavusoglu未能就解决部分由俄罗斯对乌克兰的海上封锁造成的迫在眉睫的粮食危机达成一致。拉夫罗夫先生告诉记者,俄罗斯赞同为运送乌克兰农产品的船只建立一个安全通道的计划,但他说,应由乌克兰来清除其黑海沿岸的水雷。土耳其已经提出要在这方面提供帮助。但乌克兰对此类计划持谨慎态度,因为清除水雷可能使其港口受到俄罗斯的攻击。


从火车大劫案到萨达姆-侯赛因家族从伊拉克中央银行掠夺10亿美元,记录簿上不乏大规模抢劫案。但肯定没有人能够与南非的 "国家俘获 "指控相提并论--涉及价值至少490亿兰特(32亿美元)的公共合同通过与阿贾伊、阿图尔和拉杰什-古普塔有关的咨询公司或空壳公司进行的贪污行为,这些行为大多发生在2009年至2018年间。

当时的公共保护人在2016年的一份报告中使用了这一术语,该报告列出了这对兄弟对南非政治家的不正当影响的指控。(他们否认有任何不当行为,称对他们的指控是出于政治动机)。古普塔家族在迪拜的浮夸生活方式,他们于2018年逃到那里,在伤口上撒了一把盐。南非人现在有了一些伸张正义的希望:周一,阿拉伯联合酋长国的警察以 "洗钱和刑事指控 "为由逮捕了阿图尔和拉杰什。然而,适当的程序可能不会很迅速。预计会有一场漫长的引渡斗争,如果引渡成功,还会有一场旷日持久的法庭诉讼。


"怀孕了?需要帮助吗?"一张传单上写道。"给简打电话"。在20世纪60年代和70年代初,芝加哥的一群妇女帮助其他妇女获得堕胎,这在当时是非法的。为了规避法律,成员们使用 "简 "作为集体的假名。"记录她们秘密活动的纪录片《简氏》将于周三在HBO播出。


上个月,最高法院的另一份意见书草案被泄露,暗示大法官将很快推翻罗氏案,这部电影及时提醒人们,美国的部分地区可能再次出现这种情况。至少有13个州有 "触发法",如果罗伊被推翻,将自动禁止几乎所有堕胎。更多的州可能会跟进。也许简氏家族将再次崛起。






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