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The Economist
3 hours 32 minutes ago. Facebook
It was so thick that a performance of "La Traviata" at Sadler's Wells was cancelled after fog seeped into the theatre and no one could see the stage. It brought the capital to a standstill for four days and killed least 4,000 people

The Great Smog smothered London on December 5th 1952, plunging the city into chaos

econ.st
The Economist
4 hours 11 minutes ago. Facebook
Agriculture accounts for more than 70% of global freshwater withdrawals
The Economist
4 hours 36 minutes ago. Facebook
A federal judge has ruled that Michigan must begin its presidential election recount at noon on Monday. We have argued that recounts are tedious and expensive—but cathartic

Could a recount overturn the election result?

econ.st
The Economist
today at 13:39. Facebook
Walt Disney had an intuitive grasp of the power of fables, and merrily plundered ancient mythology and folklore. Disney properties—which now include everything from “Thor” to “Toy Story”—draw on well-worn devices of mythic structure to give their stories cultural resonance

How Disney came to master the business of storytelling

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The Economist
today at 13:00. Facebook
When the shipping firm Hanjin went bust in September, $14bn worth of goods were stranded at sea. Discover why the shipping industry has been facing strong headwinds
The Economist
today at 12:14. Facebook
Much like the war on alcohol, the war on drugs has “far overshot the ills” that it is trying to fix, all the while showing little success in reducing supply or demand for drugs. A little dram of history might do wonders for America’s politicians

The lessons of America’s misadventure with Prohibition have yet to be learned

econ.st
The Economist
today at 11:31. Facebook
Our quote of the day is from South African politician, president and anti-apartheid revolutionary Nelson Mandela
The Economist
today at 10:51. Facebook
Technology is the most potent agent of change, argues Boyan Slat of The Ocean Cleanup. But an overestimation of the consequences of failure is stymying our capability to use it to take on the world's largest challenges

Risk adversity is hampering our ability to take on pressing challenges, argues Boyan Slat

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The Economist
today at 10:10. Facebook
Software will get to know its boss and her tastes so well that it will come close to doing what a real-life personal assistant can do

Virtual assistants will become smarter and more sophisticated in 2017

econ.st
The Economist
today at 09:29. Facebook
The resulting political instability may be containable in the short term. The financial consequences may be more difficult to control

Italian voters have rejected Matteo Renzi’s constitutional reforms

econ.st
The Economist
today at 08:09. Facebook
Britain will still be in the European Union at the end of 2017, but the prospect of breaking from its biggest trading partner will crimp economic growth

Worries about Britain's exit from the European Union will hit growth in 2017

econ.st
The Economist
today at 06:57. Facebook
A section of the constitution forbids American officeholders from accepting money from foreign governments

What is the Emoluments Clause?

econ.st
The Economist
today at 06:17. Facebook
Matteo Renzi had promised to resign if voters rejected his proposed constitutional reforms to recentralise power. After suffering a heavy defeat in yesterday’s plebiscite—with the “no” camp projected to win between 57% and 61%—the prime minister kept to his word

Renzi rebuffed: Italy’s prime minister has resigned

econ.st
The Economist
today at 05:37. Facebook
"Sell-side" analysts, whose firms make money from trading and investment banking, are notoriously bullish. As one joke goes, stock analysts rated Enron as a "can't miss" until it got into trouble, at which point it was lowered to a "sure thing." Are sell-side forecasts useless?

Stock analysts' forecasts tend to be wrong in reassuringly predictable ways

econ.st
The Economist
today at 04:53. Facebook
A sense of relief among some elites in Washington may be premature

America has elected an impresario-president

econ.st
The Economist
today at 04:13. Facebook
If Donald Trump is wise, he will build on Barack Obama's policy

The fate of Cuba will be shaped in part by what happens in Washington

econ.st
The Economist
today at 03:29. Facebook
The life and times of Fidel Castro. A charismatic leader, man of action and master strategist. He was also an obsessive control freak who micromanaged everything from hurricane preparedness to the potato crop

Either you were with Fidel, or you rotted in jail

econ.st
The Economist
today at 02:47. Facebook
A toxic combination of welfare cuts and soaring rents has led to thousands of families losing their homes

Homelessness is back with a vengeance in Britain

econ.st
The Economist
today at 02:02. Facebook
Yuri Milner, a technology billionaire, wants to turn scientists into celebrities

The Breakthrough prizes attempt to upstage the Nobels

econ.st
The Economist
today at 01:43. Facebook
Rashid Dostum is said to have punched Ahmad Ishch, a political rival, in the face before his bodyguards carted the injured man into an armoured vehicle. He has not been seen since

Afghanistan’s vice-president is accused of kidnapping a rival

econ.st