People going on stag and hen dos are disrupting flights too often

People going on stag and hen dos are disrupting flights too often

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People going on stag and hen dos are disrupting flights too often
NOTE to travellers headed to a stag do: the festivities begin at your destination, not on the plane that is taking you there. This might seem obvious, but many revellers appear unsure. Last week, an easyJet flight from Bristol to Prague was delayed and ultimately cancelled after a group of stags got their celebration off to an […]
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Do Britain’s railways need a Fat Controller?

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Do Britain’s railways need a Fat Controller?
ON MAY 20th, the biggest changes to train timetables in modern British history took place, affecting commuters and business travellers across the country. In the weeks beforehand, the train-operating companies had been spinning the changes as good news for passengers due to an increase in the number of services offered. Journalists were being hosted on […]
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A new breed of German startups

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A new breed of German startups
At a rooftop bar in Berlin on May 29th, the glitterati of Germany’s startup scene toasted a new arrival. Silicon Valley Bank, a commercial lender which counts as customers half of American startups that went public in 2017, has just opened an office in the country. “They are doing unique, cool things here,” gushed Greg […]
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Why Japan’s sharing economy is tiny

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Why Japan’s sharing economy is tiny
AIRBNB, an American platform for booking stays in other people’s houses, can barely conceal its frustration. A law passed last year for the first time legalised minpaku, or home-sharing, in Japan, but also sharply restricted it. From June 15th hosts can rent out their property for a maximum of 180 days each year, provided they […]
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Can refugees help to plug Europe’s skilled-labour gaps?

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Can refugees help to plug Europe’s skilled-labour gaps?
THE canteen of Stockholm University could scarcely be more Swedish. Young blond students sip coffee and tap away on Macs. In room 3.89, an outpost of the campus, is another, newer Sweden. Refugees, all of them teachers, from lands far to the south and east are preparing for the classrooms of their new home. Several […]
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How e-commerce with drone delivery is taking flight in China

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How e-commerce with drone delivery is taking flight in China
Delivering the goods LATE on a Monday morning the village of Zhangwei is quiet. Chickens scratch and cluck at the side of the road. Workers use wooden spades to spread grain on the highway to dry, using half its width so that traffic can still pass on the other side. Yet at the community centre […]
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A tax-evasion scandal ensnares Chinese film-production companies

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A tax-evasion scandal ensnares Chinese film-production companies
Fan Bingbing, on location in Khorgos IT IS hard to go a day in China without seeing Fan Bingbing. The doe-eyed starlet gazes from film posters (she has averaged four films a year for the past decade), airbrushed ads for global brands and glossy magazine covers. But in the past week she has graced articles […]
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Plans to privatise India’s flag-carrier have run into turbulence

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Plans to privatise India’s flag-carrier have run into turbulence
AFTER a plane crash, air-safety investigators are dispatched to the wreckage site to find out what went wrong and ensure it never happens again. Their financial counterparts have a similar job to do with the Indian government’s proposed sale of Air India. Mooted for nearly a year, the first round of preliminary bids ended on […]
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Donald Trump lobs a grenade from afar into the G7

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Donald Trump lobs a grenade from afar into the G7
FOR a moment, the Group of Seven (G7) leaders attending their annual summit, in a mountain village in Quebec, looked like they had managed to paper over their differences with President Donald Trump and present a united front. They found just the right wording to secure American agreement on matters that never used to be […]
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In developing countries, many people cannot afford not to work

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In developing countries, many people cannot afford not to work
No time for tweeting AMERICA’S unemployment statistics attract close attention, even from presidents. Early on June 1st President Donald Trump tweeted that he was looking forward to the latest figure (3.8%), released that morning. China’s unemployment numbers, by contrast, attract mostly ridicule. They have barely budged since 2011 despite the upheavals of the period. Many […]
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American firms will be hit hard by retaliatory tariffs

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American firms will be hit hard by retaliatory tariffs
Riding for a fall “LOOK at all these bikers…we love the bikers!” declared the pre-presidential Donald Trump, surveying a crowd of motorcycle-owners gathered by the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC, in 2016. Riders of Harley-Davidsons, in particular, have been among Mr Trump’s noisiest supporters since the early days of his campaign. Riders of “hogs” often […]
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Turkey’s central bank has streamlined its fight against inflation

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Turkey’s central bank has streamlined its fight against inflation
THE baroque era in Turkish architecture lasted deep into the 19th century, leaving behind lavish buildings, such as the Lily Mosque in Istanbul and waterside pavilions that seem to float on the Bosphorus. The baroque period in Turkish monetary policy will last until June 1st, when the central bank will simplify its equally ornate monetary-policy […]
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In investing, as in poker, following rules works best

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In investing, as in poker, following rules works best
AT THE annual World Series of Poker, which begins this week in Las Vegas, the main event is the no-limit Texas hold ’em tournament. In the course of two weeks of gruelling knock-out play, several thousand players are whittled down to just two, playing “heads-up” for one of the WSOP’s coveted bracelets. In last year’s […]
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Italy’s political crisis is roiling financial markets once more

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Italy’s political crisis is roiling financial markets once more
HERE we go again. Financial markets don’t much like uncertainty. Thanks to Italy’s politicians, in recent days they have had plenty. By May 30th some calm had returned: it seemed possible that a pair of populist parties, the Five Star Movement and the Northern League, would form a government after all (see article). Markets had […]
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America’s security profiling at airports should worry frequent flyers

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America’s security profiling at airports should worry frequent flyers
ARE you on America’s newest airport-security watch list? You could be, but you would never know. That is because the list is secret, and no one quite understands what it takes to land on it. News of the list emerged earlier this month, when the New York Times obtained a five-page internal directive from the […]
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A critical task for the Greek economy enters a new phase

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A critical task for the Greek economy enters a new phase
OF THE €57.7bn ($68.2bn) of loans that Piraeus Bank, one of Greece’s four dominant lenders, had on its books at the end of March, €20.5bn were more than 90 days overdue. A further €11.7bn were also deemed unlikely to be repaid. In all, at the end of 2017 Greek banks carried €95.7bn of such non-performing […]
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Labour laws in 104 countries reserve some jobs for men only

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Labour laws in 104 countries reserve some jobs for men only
EVEN as rich countries seek to rid workplaces of subtle gender bias, in many developing ones discrimination remains overt. According to the World Bank, women are barred from certain jobs in 104 countries (see map). “Gender equality in labour law is associated with more women working and earning more relative to men,” says Sarah Iqbal […]
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Dear oil helps some emerging economies and harms others

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Dear oil helps some emerging economies and harms others
When they are not fretting about the American dollar or Chinese debt, policymakers in emerging economies keep a close eye on the oil market. The price of Brent crude has risen by nearly 50% in the past year to around $80 a barrel. It ranks as the 11th-biggest spike in the past 70 years (adjusted […]
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Tailor shops are a thriving pocket of enterprise in Pyongyang

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Tailor shops are a thriving pocket of enterprise in Pyongyang
No ordinary fashion statement WALK down the streets of Pyongyang, North Korea’s capital, and at first sight the passers-by look rather uniform. The women are in tidy skirt suits and medium-high heels. The men sport variations on the theme of the jacket and wide trousers preferred by Kim Jong Un, the country’s leader. Government-mandated lapel […]
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The sexual harassment of flight attendants is a massive problem

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The sexual harassment of flight attendants is a massive problem
OVER the past year, there have been myriad stories in the press about airlines mistreating passengers. Last April David Dao, a passenger on a domestic United Airlines flight from Chicago to Louisville, was violently dragged off the plane to accommodate crew for another flight. This month United hit the headlines again when a Nigerian passenger […]
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The life-insurance industry is in need of new vigour

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The life-insurance industry is in need of new vigour
LIFE insurance is among the oldest financial products. The Amicable Society, founded in London in 1706, charged members a set contribution and paid out annually to widows and children of those who had died in the previous 12 months. Today it is a vast industry: life and health insurers employ over 800,000 people in America […]
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Boeing’s antics at the World Trade Organisation risk a trade war

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Boeing’s antics at the World Trade Organisation risk a trade war
GULLIVER’S regular readers might be interested in an article in this week’s print edition about Boeing’s partial victory in a case at the World Trade Organisation, brought in retaliation for subsidies that the European Union is alleged to have given Airbus, its European planemaking rival.  On May 15th the WTO’s final appeals body upheld parts […]
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McKinsey manages to get itself sued for racketeering

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McKinsey manages to get itself sued for racketeering
MOBSTERS, gangsters and bent cops have all been tried under America’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organisations (RICO) Act. Might consultants be next? McKinsey, a management consultancy, is being sued under the law by Jay Alix, the founder of AlixPartners, a competitor in the field of bankruptcy advice. Mr Alix alleges that McKinsey knowingly misled courts […]
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Toyota takes a winding road to autonomous vehicles

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Toyota takes a winding road to autonomous vehicles
Intrepid data gatherers UBER’s fleet of autonomous vehicles has been parked up since one of its self-driving cars struck and killed a woman in Tempe, Arizona in March. That death highlighted once again the industry’s rush to develop self-driving cars. Waymo, a sister company of Google, plans to launch a robotaxi service in Arizona this […]
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Another allegation of passenger mistreatment on a United Airlines flight

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Another allegation of passenger mistreatment on a United Airlines flight
ON MAY 11TH a Nigerian woman filed a lawsuit against United Airlines for removing her and her two children from a flight after a fellow passenger complained of her smell. Queen Obioma accuses the airline of singling her out “because of her black race and Nigerian citizenship”. The incident took place two years ago on […]
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American shale-oil producers are on a roll

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American shale-oil producers are on a roll
JUST over a year ago Harold Hamm, billionaire boss of Continental Resources, one of the biggest shale-oil producers in America, issued a stern warning to his fellow frackers. Drill with restraint or we will “kill the market”, he said. This month the 72-year-old Mr Hamm, son of an Oklahoma cotton sharecropper who went on to […]
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Airlines in America fail in their campaign against the Gulf carriers

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Airlines in America fail in their campaign against the Gulf carriers
ON MAY 14th, the United States and United Arab Emirates (UAE) announced a deal that should, at least in theory, put an end to their long-simmering dispute over what airlines in America allege are unfair subsidies provided by the Gulf state to its two major airlines. When news of the agreement emerged on three days […]
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