Keeping politicians honest

'Oppo' firms trawl through hours of video looking for dumb comments made by political opponents. Our US editor explains. 

Justice denied?: Civil-justice reform in Italy is pressing—and difficult. The sluggishness of civil justice is a big reason why the Italian economy is still not growing. According to the World Bank’s “Doing Business” survey, it is harder to enforce a contract in Italy than in Haiti and over 100 other countries.

Justice denied?: Civil-justice reform in Italy is pressing—and difficult. The sluggishness of civil justice is a big reason why the Italian economy is still not growing. According to the World Bank’s “Doing Business” survey, it is harder to enforce a contract in Italy than in Haiti and over 100 other countries.

The royals of Capitol Hill: House members have too much job security; that makes for bad government

The royals of Capitol Hill: House members have too much job security; that makes for bad government

Redrawing the map of Europe

Imagine a world in which countries could move just easily as people. Our suggestion for a rearranged Europe, published in May 2010, is just as relevant now. 

Cannonball Clarke: Astute, decent and effective, Ken Clarke is an example to all Britain’s reviled MPs

Cannonball Clarke: Astute, decent and effective, Ken Clarke is an example to all Britain’s reviled MPs

The politics of the border crisis: Efforts to craft sensible immigration policies for America have long felt like pushing a boulder up a hill. Thanks to a crisis on the southern border, where tens of thousands of children have arrived this year from Central America, nearly overwhelming officials in such hotspots as the Rio Grande Valley in Texas, the boulder is suddenly rolling the wrong way.

The politics of the border crisis: Efforts to craft sensible immigration policies for America have long felt like pushing a boulder up a hill. Thanks to a crisis on the southern border, where tens of thousands of children have arrived this year from Central America, nearly overwhelming officials in such hotspots as the Rio Grande Valley in Texas, the boulder is suddenly rolling the wrong way.

Too high a price: Parts from some endangered species are worth more than gold or cocaine

Too high a price: Parts from some endangered species are worth more than gold or cocaine

Kal’s cartoon: this week, the Middle East

Kal’s cartoon: this week, the Middle East

Why don’t we do it in the road? 
The practice of open defecation is increasingly dangerous to public health when people crowd close together. Worms and bacteria spread by human waste spread deadly disease and can be a big cause of malnutrition. India is, far and away, the country worst blighted by open defecation, made worse by the fact it has a large population crowded onto relatively little land. Why India suffers worse than much poorer countries, such as Congo or Afghanistan, and worse than fellow South Asian countries, such as Bangladesh, is a matter for contentious debate.

Why don’t we do it in the road? 

The practice of open defecation is increasingly dangerous to public health when people crowd close together. Worms and bacteria spread by human waste spread deadly disease and can be a big cause of malnutrition. India is, far and away, the country worst blighted by open defecation, made worse by the fact it has a large population crowded onto relatively little land. Why India suffers worse than much poorer countries, such as Congo or Afghanistan, and worse than fellow South Asian countries, such as Bangladesh, is a matter for contentious debate.

Tomorrow’s cover, today: America’s long-term growth rate is barely half what it was two decades ago. Some of the reasons for that—such as an ageing population—are unavoidable. But our cover leader argues that plenty—such as regulation, immigration, taxation—are within politicians’ control and could be fixed

Tomorrow’s cover, today: America’s long-term growth rate is barely half what it was two decades ago. Some of the reasons for that—such as an ageing population—are unavoidable. But our cover leader argues that plenty—such as regulation, immigration, taxation—are within politicians’ control and could be fixed

Dear Prime Minister and First Minister… Our advice to David Cameron and Alex Salmond on the tricky disputes and dilemmas involved in breaking up the union

Dear Prime Minister and First Minister… Our advice to David Cameron and Alex Salmond on the tricky disputes and dilemmas involved in breaking up the union

Oh! You pretty things: Today’s young people are held to be alienated, unhappy, violent failures. They are proving anything but.

A broken system: Latin America is the only region in the world where murder rates increased in the first decade of this century. Plenty of factors explain Latin America’s crime disease. The drug trade, a bulge of young, poorly educated men, income inequality and access to firearms are some. But perhaps the most important is the pervasive weakness in the basic institutions of the rule of law. As our map shows, trust in the criminal-justice system remains low in all countries.

A broken system: Latin America is the only region in the world where murder rates increased in the first decade of this century. Plenty of factors explain Latin America’s crime disease. The drug trade, a bulge of young, poorly educated men, income inequality and access to firearms are some. But perhaps the most important is the pervasive weakness in the basic institutions of the rule of law. As our map shows, trust in the criminal-justice system remains low in all countries.

The great pot experiment: legalising cannabis in America is harder than it looks

Daily chart: A quantified look at the situation in Israel and Gaza

Daily chart: A quantified look at the situation in Israel and Gaza