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America’s Supreme Court struck down a law in the state of New York that required people to demonstrate “proper cause” to carry a concealed handgun in public. By six votes to three, the justices ruled that the century-old law infringed on the constitutional right of citizens “with ordinary self-defence needs” to bear arms. It is a major blow to those campaigning for stricter gun control.

Ukraine received a consignment of High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems from America. Each carries a pod of six GPS-guided missiles, accurate over distances as far as 70-84km—about three times the range of the howitzers that America has supplied thus far. Volodymyr Zelensky, Ukraine’s president, has been pleading for heavy weapons to be delivered, saying that Russia is trying to destroy the whole Donbas region with air and artillery strikes.

Germany moved to the second stage of a three-part emergency plan to deal with a potential shortage of gas after Russia reduced supplies. Germany has accused Russia of using gas as a “weapon” in retaliation for EU sanctions provoked by the invasion of Ukraine. Among other measures, Germany’s government will now issue loans to help companies fill gas-storage facilities.

Xi Jinping, China’s president, promised to meet economic targets despite the country’s costly zero-covid policy. His government has projected GDP growth of 5.5% this year. Most economists believe the figure will be much lower. Mr Xi was speaking ahead of the BRICS summit which started on Thursday. He also criticised the West’s sanctions on Russia, calling them a “boomerang and a double-edged sword”.

Aid began to arrive in remote parts of Afghanistan hit by a 5.9-magnitude earthquake on Wednesday which killed at least 1,000 people. The Taliban had called for international support. A senior official said the government was “financially unable to assist the people to the extent that is needed”. The UN said it is “fully mobilised” but rescue efforts will be hindered by the terrain, weather and lack of access.

Norway’s central bank raised its benchmark interest rate from 0.75% to 1.25% in order to contain rising inflation. It was the biggest single raise for 20 years. The bank further warned that interest rates would “most likely” go up again in August to 1.5%, predicting that core inflation would reach 3.2% this year, well above its target of around 2%.

A judge in Argentina ruled that eight people looking after Diego Maradona before he died in 2020 should face homicide charges. The footballer (and national hero) died, aged 60, of cardiac arrest, two weeks after undergoing brain surgery. The judge found that his medical team failed to take “action that could have prevented the death”. The defendants have denied responsibility.

Fact of the day: 79%, how much higher the number of suicides was in the Chinese city of Wuhan during lockdown in 2020 than in the same period in 2019. Read the full article.

BRICS and mortars

This year’s BRICS summit opened on Thursday, in awkward circumstances. Leaders of the group’s main members—Brazil, China, India and Russia—have met annually since 2009 (with South Africa joining in 2010) to discuss issues of interest to the emerging world’s leading economic powers. Yet this year’s two-day virtual proceedings, hosted by China’s president, Xi Jinping, is unfolding against a global backdrop marred by the war his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, is waging in Ukraine and the consequent economic fallout.

Mr Xi would like to use the summit to bring big emerging economies into closer alignment with China—and against the West. Indeed, expansion will be on the agenda with Argentina and Saudi Arabia among several countries joining the meeting. India, though, is likely to resist efforts to send an overtly anti-American message (its appetite for Russian arms and oil notwithstanding). Given the war’s heavy global costs, Mr Xi may struggle to find any group solidarity.

In the foothills of EU accession

Ukrainians starved for good news may get a bit from Brussels on Thursday. A summit of the European Council, composed of the EU’s national leaders, is expected to grant Ukraine candidate status. That is the first step on the long road to membership. Moldova, which also has a reformist government threatened by Russia, is likely to be given candidate status too, while Georgia will be asked to meet more conditions.

There will be less joy for four western Balkan countries. Albania, Bosnia, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia would like to join the EU but have been on hold for years. (North Macedonia is being blocked by Bulgaria; a French-brokered compromise is now hostage to an unfolding government crisis in Sofia.) EU members will discuss granting certain benefits of membership, such as visa-free travel, during the accession process and, for other countries, some form of looser European association. On Friday the council will take up an even bigger problem: the continent’s worsening economy.

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A dry run for Britain’s next general election

Britain’s governing Conservative Party faces a pair of parliamentary by-elections on Thursday. The contests will stress-test the popularity of Boris Johnson, the prime minister, in two very different seats.

Both votes came about in the grubbiest of circumstances. In Wakefield, a city in northern England, where the Tories enjoy a majority of 3,358 over Labour, the previous MP was convicted of sexually assaulting a child in 2008. In Tiverton and Honiton, a sprawling farming seat in the south-west, a majority of 24,239 is under assault from the Liberal Democrats. There, the poll was triggered after the Tory MP admitted watching pornography while at work in the House of Commons. The by-elections will show whether voters are willing to forgive either of these scandals, on top of “Partygate” in which Mr Johnson was fined for breaking lockdown rules—and how far a big squeeze on living standards is eroding Conservative support.

Cities’ return to normality

Life in the world’s cities is improving. Every year EIU, the research and analysis division of The Economist Group, compiles an index of urban “liveability”. The average score for 2022 is 73.6, up more than four points from 2021.

The EIU’s index rates living conditions according to such things as stability, health care, culture, environment, education and infrastructure. Western cities have fared well, having lifted most covid restrictions after successful vaccine rollouts. Vienna tops the ranking for the third time since 2018, and five other European cities make the top ten, joined by three cities in Canada.

There are notable exceptions to the trend. Every city in China has slipped down the rankings. And the war in Ukraine is weighing heavily. EIU had to abandon its Kyiv survey when fighting broke out, and life in Russian cities has become less tolerable as censorship tightens—and Western sanctions bite.

Worrying about monkeypox

Scientists are still unsure why monkeypox, a virus that causes symptoms similar to those of chickenpox—fever, exhaustion and pustules—is spreading so rapidly. Usually the disease is confined to parts of Africa. But this year the World Health Organisation has identified 2,103 confirmed cases in 42 countries. (The one death recorded so far was in Nigeria.) On Thursday the WHO meets to decide whether to classify the monkeypox outbreak a “public-health emergency of international concern” (PHEIC), a designation currently applied only to covid-19 and polio.

A PHEIC is a technical designation applied to an “extraordinary event” that is determined to constitute a public-health risk through the international spread of disease. If the WHO does declare one for monkeypox, it will also issue recommendations on how governments should handle outbreaks. The world’s limited supply of smallpox vaccines, which can protect people from monkeypox, could help. Distributing them will require international co-ordination. But that may be easier than it was for covid vaccines, as the demand, thankfully, is not as great.

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.

Thursday: What term was devised by Arthur Okun, an economist, to describe a measure that added the unemployment rate to the inflation rate?

Wednesday: Which Massachusetts town was gripped by a series of witch trials in 1692 and 1693?

I have had dreams, and I've had nightmares. I overcame the nightmares because of my dreams.

Jonas Salk

美国最高法院推翻了纽约州的一项法律,该法律要求人们证明有 "适当的理由 "才能在公共场合携带隐蔽的手枪。大法官以6票对3票裁定,这项有百年历史的法律侵犯了 "有普通自卫需要 "的公民携带武器的宪法权利。这对那些争取更严格的枪支管制的人来说是一个重大打击。

乌克兰收到了一批来自美国的高机动性火炮火箭系统。每套系统携带一个由六枚GPS制导导弹组成的吊舱,精确到70-84公里的距离,大约是美国迄今为止提供的榴弹炮射程的三倍。乌克兰总统沃洛基米尔-泽伦斯基(Volodymyr Zelensky)一直在恳求提供重武器,他说俄罗斯正试图用空中和炮火打击来摧毁整个顿巴斯地区。

在俄罗斯减少供应后,德国进入了一个由三部分组成的应急计划的第二阶段,以应对潜在的天然气短缺。德国指责俄罗斯将天然气作为一种 "武器",以报复欧盟对其入侵乌克兰所挑起的制裁。除其他措施外,德国政府现在将发放贷款,以帮助企业填充天然气储存设施。

中国国家主席习近平承诺,尽管中国实行成本高昂的清零政策,但仍将实现经济目标。他的政府预计今年的GDP增长为5.5%。大多数经济学家认为这个数字会低得多。习近平先生是在周四开始的金砖国家峰会之前发表讲话的。他还批评了西方对俄罗斯的制裁,称其为 "回旋镖和双刃剑"。

周三发生的5.9级地震造成至少1000人死亡,援助物资开始抵达阿富汗偏远地区。塔利班曾呼吁国际社会给予支持。一位高级官员说,政府 "在财政上无法为人民提供所需的援助"。联合国说,它已经 "完全动员起来",但救援工作将受到地形、天气和缺乏通道的阻碍。

挪威中央银行将其基准利率从0.75%提高到1.25%,以控制不断上升的通货膨胀。这是20年来的最大一次加息。该银行进一步警告说,利率 "很可能 "在8月再次上升到1.5%,并预测今年的核心通货膨胀率将达到3.2%,远远高于其2%左右的目标。

阿根廷的一名法官裁定,在迭戈-马拉多纳2020年去世前照顾他的八个人应该面临杀人指控。这位足球运动员(也是国家英雄)在接受脑部手术两周后,死于心脏骤停,享年60岁。法官认为,他的医疗团队没有采取 "可以防止死亡的行动"。被告人否认了责任。







四个西巴尔干国家的喜悦会少一些。阿尔巴尼亚、波斯尼亚、科索沃、黑山、北马其顿和塞尔维亚都希望加入欧盟,但多年来一直被搁置。(北马其顿受到保加利亚的阻挠;法国斡旋的妥协方案现在受到索非亚政府危机的牵制。) 欧盟成员将讨论在入盟过程中给予某些成员资格的好处,如免签证旅行,并对其他国家给予某种形式的较宽松的欧洲联合。星期五,理事会将讨论一个更大的问题:欧洲大陆不断恶化的经济。




两张选票都是在最糟糕的情况下产生的。在英格兰北部城市韦克菲尔德,保守党以3,358票的优势领先于工党,前任议员在2008年因性侵犯儿童而被定罪。在西南部的蒂弗顿和霍尼顿(Tiverton and Honiton),一个庞大的农业席位,24,239人的多数席位正受到自由民主党的攻击。在那里,在保守党议员承认在下议院工作时观看色情制品后,触发了投票。补选将显示选民是否愿意原谅这些丑闻中的任何一个,以及约翰逊先生因违反禁闭规则而被罚款的 "党派门",以及对生活水平的巨大挤压在多大程度上侵蚀了保守党的支持。


世界城市的生活正在改善。经济学人集团(The Economist Group)的研究和分析部门EIU每年都会编制一份城市 "宜居 "指数。2022年的平均得分是73.6分,比2021年上升了4分多。




科学家们仍然不确定为什么猴痘--一种导致类似于水痘症状的病毒--发烧、疲惫和脓疱--会如此迅速地传播。通常情况下,这种疾病只限于非洲部分地区。但是今年,世界卫生组织已经在42个国家发现了2,103个确诊病例。(周四,世卫组织召开会议,决定是否将猴痘疫情列为 "国际关注的公共卫生突发事件"(PHEIC),这一称号目前只适用于19型牛痘和脊髓灰质炎。

国际关注的公共卫生紧急情况是一种适用于 "非常事件 "的技术名称,该事件被确定为通过疾病的国际传播构成公共卫生风险。如果世卫组织真的宣布猴痘为疫情,它还将就政府应如何处理疫情提出建议。世界上的天花疫苗供应有限,可以保护人们免受猴痘的伤害,这可能会有所帮助。分发这些疫苗将需要国际协调。但是,这可能比天花疫苗更容易,因为幸好需求没有那么大。



星期四。经济学家Arthur Okun设计了一个术语,用来描述将失业率与通货膨胀率相加的措施?



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