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Profits are down in The US Inc

“IT’S NOT that bad,” remarked Jamie Dimon, boss of JP Morgan Chase, of the global economy on July 16th. But, Wall Street’s favourite banker had to concede, business sentiment “is a little bit worse”. Prospects for American companies have indeed dimmed. Analysts expect earnings of the biggest among them, which have just begun reporting their…

The feeble American consensus on non secular liberty is weakening

STUDYING RELIGIOUS PERSECUTION, in all its ghastly forms, concentrates the mind. However Americans feel about the country’s domestic culture wars, most can agree in abhorring the imprisonment of Muslim Uighurs in China, the arrest and torture of Jehovah Witnesses in Russia, the jailing of so-called blasphemers in Pakistan. Such brutal assaults on basic religious liberty…

Why New Zealand’s other All Blacks topic

THE ALL BLACKS, New Zealand’s international rugby union team, borrow a Maori pre-combat ritual when stomping out their famous haka before each game. Their near-namesakes have a more direct claim. The Maori All Blacks, made up only of players who can prove their Maori descent, have a unique haka, “Timatanga” (beginnings). It tells of a…

The mighty simplicity of Olafur Eliasson’s art

“ENJOY YOURSELF,” the gallery attendant says, smiling, “and be careful.” She opens a white door and lets a few people into a narrow passageway thick with fog. It smells unpleasantly artificial. No one can see more than a metre or so ahead, and a strange kind of intimacy ensues. People search for someone close in…

A current age of place exploration is foundation

THE MOMENT when, 50 years ago, Neil Armstrong planted his foot on the surface of the Moon inspired awe, pride and wonder around the world. This newspaper argued that “man, from this day on, can go wheresoever in the universe his mind wills and his ingenuity contrives…to the planets, sooner rather than later, man is…

Hong Kong’s protesters learn from Bruce Lee

“BE FORMLESS, shapeless, like water”, said Bruce Lee in his role as Li Tsung, a martial-arts instructor in “Longstreet”, an American television series broadcast in 1971. Lee died two years later in Hong Kong, where the iconic actor’s musings on the nature of water are being re-examined today by fighters of a different kind: demonstrators…