Tomorrow’s cover, today: Reluctantly, America is back in Iraq, bombing the extremists of the Islamic State. Some argue that Barack Obama should not be getting entangled in the Mesopotamian mess again, some that he is still being too cautious. Our cover leader argues that his use of modest military force combined with political brinkmanship is the best way of containing the Islamic State while encouraging the formation of a decent government in Baghdad.

Tomorrow’s cover, today: Reluctantly, America is back in Iraq, bombing the extremists of the Islamic State. Some argue that Barack Obama should not be getting entangled in the Mesopotamian mess again, some that he is still being too cautious. Our cover leader argues that his use of modest military force combined with political brinkmanship is the best way of containing the Islamic State while encouraging the formation of a decent government in Baghdad.

Daily chart: How shipbuilding has changed over the past 100 years

Daily chart: How shipbuilding has changed over the past 100 years

Why London is the most expensive city to build in

Daily chart: The disparity of attention and casualties among global conflicts

Daily chart: The disparity of attention and casualties among global conflicts

Treating the fair sex fairly: Female ministers are fewer than their male colleagues, but equally effective

Treating the fair sex fairly: Female ministers are fewer than their male colleagues, but equally effective

Stop whining, I’m your friend
The president wants CEOs to play ball. He might have to change his own language

Stop whining, I’m your friend

The president wants CEOs to play ball. He might have to change his own language

How a tattoo affects your job prospects

More bang for your buck

We have dissected data from an international review site with profiles of 190,000 female prostitutes. The results show that gentlemen really do prefer blondes, who charge 11% more than brunettes. The scrawny look beloved of fashion magazines is more marketable than flab—but less so than a healthy weight. Prostitutes themselves behave like freelancers in other labour markets. They arrange tours and thanks to the internet, take bookings online, like gigging musicians.

Kal’s cartoon: this week, the US business cycle

Kal’s cartoon: this week, the US business cycle

Tomorrow’s cover, today: This week we look at the sex business—and the way that technology is making it more like a normal service industry. In our briefing we dissect the data on the prices and services of 190,000 prostitutes around the world. That inevitably involves some fairly explicit charts which not all readers will appreciate. In our cover leader we argue that the internet is making the buying and selling of sex easier and safer—and governments should stop trying to ban it.

Tomorrow’s cover, today: This week we look at the sex business—and the way that technology is making it more like a normal service industry. In our briefing we dissect the data on the prices and services of 190,000 prostitutes around the world. That inevitably involves some fairly explicit charts which not all readers will appreciate. In our cover leader we argue that the internet is making the buying and selling of sex easier and safer—and governments should stop trying to ban it.

The Mars and Venus question: new research suggests that differences between men and women’s brains may be down to social development rather than gender stereotypes

The Mars and Venus question: new research suggests that differences between men and women’s brains may be down to social development rather than gender stereotypes

Passing the baton: Colombia overtakes Peru to become the region’s fastest-growing big economy

Passing the baton: Colombia overtakes Peru to become the region’s fastest-growing big economy

This is going to hurt: The cost of Vladimir Putin’s gamble in Ukraine is going up, but he shows no sign of changing course

This is going to hurt: The cost of Vladimir Putin’s gamble in Ukraine is going up, but he shows no sign of changing course

The next great disruption: We interview Barack Obama about his plans for America’s relationship with Africa

The next great disruption: We interview Barack Obama about his plans for America’s relationship with Africa

In foreign fields: How Britain’s former dominions remember the war that propelled them to independence

In foreign fields: How Britain’s former dominions remember the war that propelled them to independence