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Journal Cover The Economist - UK
  [214 followers]  Follow
   Full-text available via subscription Subscription journal
   ISSN (Print) 0013-0613
   Published by The Economist Group Homepage  [4 journals]
  • Politics and economics: Britain’s 1970s retread
    • Abstract: Main image:  THE strange 1970s revival in Britain has another twist. The main focus has been on the Labour party which, under Jeremy Corbyn, wants to return to the era marked by nationalisation and higher taxes. But in a sense the Brexiteers want to take Britain back to the 1970s too; to the “golden era” before 1973 when the country was outside the EU. In fact, the early 1970s were marked by strikes, power cuts and rapid inflation. They were presided over by Edward Heath (pictured left), the prime minister whose main achievement was to take Britain into what was then the European Economic Community. And it is striking how many similarities he had with the current prime minister, Theresa May (pictured right).Both PMs were/are (Heath died in 2005) loners with few friends in the party and rather “buttoned-up” personalities. Both were uncomfortable on the campaign trail, finding it hard to connect with voters. Both talked of relaunching their party’s political philosophies but struggled to turn their principles into practical policy. Both called early elections and suffered disappointing results. Heath called a poll on the slogan “Who Governs Britain'” in February 1974; the result was a hung Parliament.And both have been overwhelmed by turbulent times. Heath had to deal with a powerful miners’ ...
      PubDate: Wed, 15 Nov 2017 15:49:17 +000
  • Sleep paralysis: Northern Ireland hasn’t had a government since
    • Abstract: Print section UK Only Article:  standard article Fly Title:  Sleep paralysis Location:  BELFAST Main image:  20171118_BRP502.jpg “HOW good it will be to be part of a wonderful healing in this province,” declared Ian Paisley, Northern Ireland’s first minister, when the Stormont Assembly was reopened in 2007 after nearly five years of direct rule from Westminster. And how long ago that now seems. On November 15th Northern Ireland’s annual budget was passed—but in London, not Belfast. It was the first time in more than a decade that politicians on the mainland had set the budget. Some in Northern Ireland described it as the first step on the road back to direct rule.Westminster’s reluctant intervention was caused by the fact that Northern Ireland has lacked a government of its own since January. Back then the late Martin McGuinness, Sinn Fein’s leader in the Assembly, resigned from his post as deputy first minister in protest at the “crude and crass bigotry” shown towards his fellow republicans by the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), with which Sinn Fein was ...
      PubDate: Wed, 15 Nov 2017 14:51:39 +000
  • Daily chart: Britain may be through the worst of its bout of inflation
    • Abstract: Main image:  SINCE November 2015 the pound has depreciated by over 15% against other currencies, mainly because of worries caused by last year’s Brexit referendum. As the cost of imports has risen, inflation has jumped. Figures released on November 14th showed that in October consumer-price inflation was 3%, the joint-highest level since 2012. That is squeezing Britons’ living standards. Yet there is reason to think that inflation may soon be on its way down again.In the 1970s inflation was a scourge on the British economy. As unions battled with employers over wage settlements, it often rose above 20%. Yet lately inflation has become quiescent. The Bank of England won operational independence over monetary policy in 1997. Since then the annual rate of consumer-price inflation has averaged almost exactly 2%, in line with the bank’s official target.Nonetheless, as an open economy with a fairly volatile currency, Britain is prone to short-term spikes in inflation. In 2011, as oil prices soared and the government increased VAT, it hit 5.2%. With weak growth in nominal wages since the financial crisis of 2008-09, even relatively small rises in the inflation rate are felt keenly by workers. The latest bout of inflation has caused real-terms wages to fall in every month since February.Yet inflation may not ...
      PubDate: Tue, 14 Nov 2017 15:19:46 +000
  • Loyalty on the cheap: Proposed changes to frequent-flyer programmes may be
           bad news for budget travellers
    • Abstract: Main image:  ALONGSIDE Eurocrats, straight bananas and anyone who opposes Brexit, Britain’s tabloid press has found something new to hate this year: British Airways (BA). Britain’s flag carrier has been criticised for cutting legroom in economy, axeing free food and drink on short-haul flights and—horror of horror—the amuse bouche that used to be served before dinner in first class. To save face, this week BA’s chief executive, Alex Cruz, who has come under sustained criticism for the cuts to service quality, announced that the carrier would be tarting up its offer. This would include more free meals, better Wi-Fi and 72 new planes. “We’re bringing back the glory days,” Mr Cruz proudly crowed. But not all of the improvements may be as good for frequent flyers as he advertised.Among the changes planned for 2018, BA is moving to so-called “dynamic award pricing” in Executive Club, its loyalty programme. This means that tickets paid for with points from the programme will be no longer calculated in distance, but the cost BA is selling the ticket at. Air France-KLM, a rival legacy carrier, also announced similar changes as part of an overhaul of its Flying Blue loyalty programme. Starting in April, in addition to dynamic award pricing, members of the scheme will also earn points based on how much they ...
      PubDate: Sun, 12 Nov 2017 11:50:18 +000
  • The Economist explains: Why London’s house prices are falling
    • Abstract: Main image:  LONDON’S housing market has been bubbly for years. Since 1990 the price of the average house in the capital, once adjusted for inflation, has tripled. That growth has far outstripped what has been seen in the rest of Britain. Yet the market has turned of late—and in a big way. As recently as 2014 London’s house prices were growing at 20% a year, but they may now be falling. What has changed'A particular pocket of weakness is London’s “prime” market, which is often defined as the priciest 5-10% of homes. Prime prices in central London are 15% below their peak of three years ago. In Kensington and Chelsea, the city’s poshest borough, house prices have tumbled by 15% since January. The prime market is struggling in part because of Brexit. Some plutocrats have already left; others want to rent, not buy. Yet other factors have played a bigger role. In 2014 the government made changes to stamp duty, a tax on homebuyers, raising it for those buying houses worth more than about £1m ($1.3m). Recently stamp duty became heavier still for those purchasing second homes. London is stuffed with luxury pads—the city has over half the houses sold in Britain that cost more than £1m—so it is feeling these measures most keenly.Yet London’s prime market is not alone. In all price brackets, prices are less ...
      PubDate: Fri, 10 Nov 2017 05:30:00 +000
  • Daily chart: What porn and listings sites can tell us about
           Britain’s gay population
    • Abstract: Main image:  HALF a century after Britain’s Parliament passed the Sexual Offences Act of 1967, which partially decriminalised homosexual acts, gay life is flourishing more than ever. The country boasts the world’s gayest legislature, according to Andrew Reynolds, a professor of political science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill: some 45 of the 650 members of Parliament elected in June are openly gay or bisexual. Britain is also tied with Sweden as the least homophobic country on the Gay Travel Index, an annual ranking produced by Spartacus World, a gay holiday guide. Even though Britons see gay and lesbian politicians and fictional characters more and more often on television, there is still a surprising lack of data about where gay life is most concentrated. Polls typically find that about a quarter of people say they feel some attraction to the same sex, but just 2% of respondents to the Annual Population Survey identify themselves as something other than straight—a group too small to give an accurate regional picture. To get a clearer illustration, we used two datasets.The first attempted to measure where gay people live, and was provided by the insights team at, a widely viewed pornography website. The video-streaming service attracts 5m visitors from ...
      PubDate: Thu, 09 Nov 2017 17:24:22 +000
  • Yes, we have no bananas: How technology can cure market failures in Africa
    • Abstract: Print section Print Rubric:  How technology can cure market failures Print Headline:  Yes, we have no bananas Print Fly Title:  Agriculture UK Only Article:  standard article Issue:  The leapfrog model Fly Title:  Yes, we have no bananas WITH EMERALD-GREEN tea plantations stretching out as far as the eye can see, the town of Nandi Hills has its fortunes planted firmly in the rich, red soil of Kenya’s highlands. In the cool of a dark market, women traders surrounded by beans, mangos and bananas wait for custom. Bananas seem an uncomplicated crop, but Pauline, a middle-aged tea farmer who also grows fruit and vegetables, says she used to find it hard to know when to harvest and send them to market. They stay fresh on the tree for weeks, but ripen quickly once harvested. If she and several other farmers tried to sell them on the same day, there would be a glut and she would not even recover the cost of taking them on the half-hour ...
      PubDate: Thu, 09 Nov 2017 15:48:07 +000
  • Out and about: Mapping gay life in Britain
    • Abstract: Print section Print Rubric:  Queer life is at once clustered and diffuse Print Headline:  Out and about Print Fly Title:  Gay demography UK Only Article:  standard article Issue:  America’s global influence has dwindled under Donald Trump Fly Title:  Out and about Main image:  The guys next door The guys next doorWITH its cream teas and rolling gardens, Dartington Hall in Devon resembles a picture postcard of the conventional, conservative English countryside. Yet at the end of September the estate hosted the first Dartington Outing, a week-long jamboree of “queer arts and bent events”, featuring lesbian life drawing, a virtual-reality tour of a gay HIV-positive man’s body, and a “rainbow tea party”.Some Devonians may have been surprised to find such sexual colour in rural Britain. “The media perception of gay life is young, urban and hedonistic, which is what ...
      PubDate: Thu, 09 Nov 2017 15:48:07 +000
  • Subsidence: America’s Republicans take aim at mortgage subsidies
    • Abstract: Print section Print Rubric:  America’s Republicans are taking aim at mortgage subsidies. About time too Print Headline:  Subsidence Print Fly Title:  Global housing UK Only Article:  standard article Issue:  America’s global influence has dwindled under Donald Trump Fly Title:  Subsidence Location:  NEW YORK IN THE 1980s Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan were both proud of their efforts to expand home ownership. In Britain, Thatcher presided over a fire sale of state-owned homes to tenants. In America, Reagan deregulated financial markets and expanded mortgage lending. At the time both countries provided generous mortgage-related tax breaks, making it easier to flog homes to the masses.Britain’s 1980s housing boom turned to bust; the mortgage subsidies that helped to fuel it were abolished. America still subsidises mortgages to the tune of $64bn a year, by ...
      PubDate: Thu, 09 Nov 2017 15:48:03 +000
  • Sun-kissed stories: The Paradise Papers shed new light on offshore finance
    • Abstract: Print section Print Rubric:  A new leak ratchets up scrutiny of offshore financial centres Print Headline:  Sun-kissed stories Print Fly Title:  The Paradise Papers UK Only Article:  standard article Issue:  America’s global influence has dwindled under Donald Trump Fly Title:  Sun-kissed stories Main image:  20171111_FNP504.jpg THIS week was uncomfortable for a host of well-heeled figures. In the frame were U2’s Bono, America’s commerce secretary, Wilbur Ross, and Britain’s Queen Elizabeth, as well as some of the world’s most valuable companies, including Apple and Nike. All these, and many more, feature in the “Paradise Papers”, a trove of more than 13m documents, many of them stolen from Appleby, a leading offshore law firm. The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) and its 95 press partners, including the BBC and the New York Times, ...
      PubDate: Thu, 09 Nov 2017 15:48:03 +000
  • Giving Luddites a bad name: What fax machines and floppy disks reveal
           about Britain’s productivity problem
    • Abstract: Print section Print Rubric:  What fax machines and floppy disks reveal about Britain’s productivity problem Print Headline:  Giving Luddites a bad name Print Fly Title:  Productivity UK Only Article:  standard article Issue:  America’s global influence has dwindled under Donald Trump Fly Title:  Giving Luddites a bad name Main image:  Stay on the scene, like a fax machine Stay on the scene, like a fax machinePERHAPS the greatest problem facing the British economy—bigger, even, than Brexit—is weak productivity growth. During the 20th century the output per hour of British workers steadily increased. In the past decade, however, it has barely budged (see chart). That in turn has kept wage growth in check. The government says it will offer bold solutions to Britain’s productivity problem in its long-awaited “industrial strategy”, on which it is expected to publish ...
      PubDate: Thu, 09 Nov 2017 15:48:03 +000
  • Bagehot: Theresa May, weak and stable prime minister
    • Abstract: Print section Print Rubric:  Don’t expect Theresa May to be gone anytime soon Print Headline:  Weak and stable Print Fly Title:  Bagehot UK Only Article:  standard article Issue:  America’s global influence has dwindled under Donald Trump Fly Title:  Bagehot Main image:  20171111_BRD000_0.jpg AND another one bites the dust. A week after Britain’s defence secretary, Sir Michael Fallon, resigned over a sexual-harassment scandal, Priti Patel, the international-development secretary, has resigned over an international-relations scandal. There may be more to come. Boris Johnson, the foreign secretary, is yet again skating on thin ice. He incorrectly told a parliamentary committee that a British-Iranian, Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, was “teaching journalism” while in Iran, giving the Iranian regime an excuse to add an extra five years to her prison sentence. Damian ...
      PubDate: Thu, 09 Nov 2017 15:48:02 +000
  • All out: Obituary: Derek Robinson died on October 31st
    • Abstract: Print section Print Rubric:  Derek Robinson, a British trade unionist, died on October 31st, aged 90 Print Headline:  All out Print Fly Title:  Derek Robinson UK Only Article:  standard article Issue:  America’s global influence has dwindled under Donald Trump Fly Title:  All out Main image:  20171111_OBP001_0.jpg BRITAIN’s biggest carmaker exemplified the country’s misery in the 1970s. British Leyland, state-owned and subsidy-sodden, produced underpowered rust-buckets—when it was working at all. At the heart of the company’s misfortunes were the anarchic industrial relations at its biggest plant, Longbridge in Birmingham, stoked by an unofficial union leader who revelled in the nickname “Red Robbo”.Derek Robinson was indeed as red as red could be, taking a self-study Marxism course as an apprentice toolmaker in his teens, joining the Communist Party in 1951, ...
      PubDate: Thu, 09 Nov 2017 15:47:56 +000
  • Letters to the editor: Letters
    • Abstract: Print section Print Fly Title:  On globalisation, mussels, Russia, politics UK Only Article:  standard article Issue:  America’s global influence has dwindled under Donald Trump Fly Title:  Letters to the editor Those who are left behindYour briefing on the regions of the world that have been marginalised by globalisation stated that economists “once thought that, over time, inequalities between both regions and countries would naturally even out” (“In the lurch”, October 21st). I am not one of them. I have always believed that the global economy “can be imagined to be a self-equilibrating mechanism of the textbook variety, or it can be recognised as subject to processes of cumulative causation whereby if one or more countries fall behind the pack, there may be dangers of them falling further behind, rather than enjoying an automatic ticket back to the equilibrium solution path. These two alternative, conflicting views of real-world economic processes have very different implications regarding institutional needs and arrangements” (“Managing the Global ...
      PubDate: Thu, 09 Nov 2017 15:47:56 +000
  • Politics this week
    • Abstract: Print section Print Headline:  Politics this week UK Only Article:  standard article Issue:  Do social media threaten democracy' Main image:  20171104_WWP001_0.jpg A 29-year-old immigrant from Uzbekistan ploughed a pickup truck into pedestrians along a cycle path in New York, killing at least eight people in a terror attack apparently inspired by Islamic State. The man was detained by police after being shot. Although vehicles have become a familiar weapon of choice for jihadists in Europe, these are the first fatalities from such an attack in America. See articleThe first charges were laid in the investigation led by Robert Mueller, the special counsel looking into Russian interference in last year’s election. Paul Manafort, Donald Trump’s former campaign manager, and his business associate, Rick Gates, were charged with conspiracy and money-laundering. Both pleaded not guilty. George Papadopoulos, a junior adviser on foreign policy in the Trump campaign, pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about trying to forge links with Russian officials. See article A ...
      PubDate: Thu, 02 Nov 2017 15:51:43 +000
  • Gone missing: As the global economy picks up, inflation is oddly quiescent
    • Abstract: Print section Print Rubric:  The world economy is gathering momentum—but where’s the inflation' Print Headline:  Gone missing Print Fly Title:  Global inflation UK Only Article:  standard article Issue:  Do social media threaten democracy' Fly Title:  Gone missing Main image:  20171104_FND001_0.jpg A FEW years ago, the news about the euro-zone economy was uniformly bad to the point of tedium. These days, it is the humdrum diet of benign data that prompts a yawn. Figures this week show that GDP rose by 0.6% in the three months to the end of September (an annualised rate of 2.4%). The European Commission’s economic-sentiment index rose to its highest level in almost 17 years. Yet when the European Central Bank’s governing council gathered on October 26th, it decided to keep interest rates unchanged, at close to zero, and to extend its bond-buying programme (known ...
      PubDate: Thu, 02 Nov 2017 15:51:43 +000
  • Charlemagne: The ghost at the banquet: Britain’s planned departure is
           already changing Brussels
    • Abstract: Print section Print Rubric:  Well before it happens, Brexit is already changing the rest of the EU Print Headline:  The ghost at the banquet Print Fly Title:  Charlemagne UK Only Article:  standard article Issue:  Do social media threaten democracy' Fly Title:  Charlemagne: The ghost at the banquet Main image:  20171104_EUD000_0.jpg SCRATCH your head and the memory flickers into life. Britain was once an influential member of the European Union. Its politicians were infuriating but effective, its diplomats skilled at crafting alliances, its officials adept at the push-me-pull-you of shaping EU law. This is how Britain earned a budget rebate, an opt-out from the euro, and, under David Cameron, a “renegotiation” of its membership (since voided by the Brexit vote). Nor were its energies devoted solely to carving out special treatment. Vital EU achievements like the ...
      PubDate: Thu, 02 Nov 2017 15:51:37 +000
  • Everyone v gown: Britain’s universities are under fire from all
    • Abstract: Print section Print Rubric:  Britain’s world-leading universities have rarely been so unpopular Print Headline:  Everyone v gown Print Fly Title:  Higher education UK Only Article:  standard article Issue:  Do social media threaten democracy' Fly Title:  Everyone v gown Main image:  When it rains, it pours When it rains, it poursTHERE are few things in which Britain can still claim to lead the world, but higher education is one. The country’s grandest universities top global league-tables. They attract many of the world’s best researchers, as well as students from every continent. The Department for Education found that income from foreign students and research contracts was worth £12.4bn ($20.6bn) in 2014. Yet, at a time of widening political division, politicians and pundits of all hues are united by a growing scepticism about universities.From the right, ...
      PubDate: Thu, 02 Nov 2017 15:51:37 +000
  • Letting out some air: London’s bubbly housing market goes flat
    • Abstract: Print section Print Rubric:  A bubbly market goes flat Print Headline:  Letting out some air Print Fly Title:  Housing in London UK Only Article:  standard article Issue:  Do social media threaten democracy' Fly Title:  Letting out some air SINCE 1990 the price of the average house in London has tripled in real terms, easily outstripping the rest of the country. Millennials, many of whom have lost all hope of buying a home, have a morbid fascination with stories about the capital’s outrageous prices, including a recent one about a shabby, narrowboat-sized house in west London which went on sale for £600,000 ($790,000). Yet the market may be turning. Lately the rate of house-price growth across Britain has slowed. But in London it has nosedived (see chart). Why has the capital lost its fizz'One pocket of weakness is London’s “prime” market, often defined as the priciest 5-10% of homes. According to a recent report by Savills, a ...
      PubDate: Thu, 02 Nov 2017 15:51:37 +000
  • What goes down...: Interest rates rise in Britain for the first time in a
    • Abstract: Print section UK Only Article:  standard article Fly Title:  What goes down... Main image:  20171104_BLP503.jpg DURING the financial crisis in 2008-09, Britain’s base rate of interest was cut to 0.5%. After the Brexit referendum last year the Bank of England cut it by a further 0.25 percentage points. At various points in recent years, members of the bank’s monetary-policy committee (MPC) have hinted that rate rises were on the cards, but they did not follow through. That changed on November 2nd, when the MPC voted to put interest rates back to 0.5%. This marks the beginning of Britain’s first tightening cycle since 2003. Why has the bank acted'Inflation recently hit 3%, which is above the bank’s 2% target. In the third quarter of 2017 GDP grew by 0.4%, beating the expectations of most analysts, suggesting to some that the post-referendum cut was unnecessary. An open-and-shut case' Hardly. Not all members of the nine-person committee voted for a rise. Sir Jon Cunliffe and Sir Dave Ramsden both decided that it was better to hold off. One reason for caution is that the British economy is not exactly overheating. True, inflation ...
      PubDate: Thu, 02 Nov 2017 12:27:30 +000
  • Tu casa es mi casa: The Catalan crisis adds to Gibraltar’s Brexit
    • Abstract: Print section Print Rubric:  Catalonia adds to Gibraltar’s Brexit concerns Print Headline:  Tu casa es mi casa Print Fly Title:  Britain and Spain UK Only Article:  standard article Issue:  Do social media threaten democracy' Fly Title:  Tu casa es mi casa Main image:  20171104_brp002.jpg THE big drama in Spain today is over Catalonia’s bid for independence (see article). But the Catalan affair could also have an impact some 530 miles (850km) to the south-west, in Gibraltar. Recently Catalonia’s representative in Britain, Sergi Marcén, said that Catalonia accepted British sovereignty over the Rock, a clear dig at Madrid. Gibraltar’s chief minister, Fabian Picardo, worries that Catalonia might now produce a surge in Spanish patriotic feeling, just as Brexit is coming to a crunch moment.The outcrop at the neck of the Mediterranean was ceded to Britain in the ...
      PubDate: Tue, 31 Oct 2017 18:18:48 +000
  • The Economist explains: The sperm-donation business
    • Abstract: Main image:  ONCE a practice associated with students looking to make a quick buck, sperm donation has penetrated the ranks of big business. The AIDS epidemic that began in the 1980s ended the informality surrounding the business, and as the costs and risks around testing and handling donated sperm increased, medics opted out and entrepreneurs swiftly filled the gap. Today savvy sperm banks—particularly those that are able to export—can make a very decent income supplying a growing and changing market. How do businesses make money in the jizz biz'Two things have provided entrepreneurs with fertile ground. First, a patchwork of regulatory intervention means that in certain countries the flow hasn’t kept up with demand. In several places, including Britain, anonymous donation has been outlawed. In other countries donors cannot be paid. Both reasons help explain why sperm banks in such places often struggle to recruit donors; the long waiting lists caused by low donor-count can lead to customers shopping abroad. Second, as acceptance of modern family structures grows, so too does demand for a key missing ingredient. Where the vast majority of customers were previously heterosexual couples who had trouble conceiving, today many if not most are either lesbian couples or single women. In some countries ...
      PubDate: Fri, 27 Oct 2017 07:09:37 +000
  • Grant me tighter policy...but not yet: The Bank of England should wait
           before raising rates
    • Abstract: Print section Print Rubric:  Britain’s central bank has already waited a decade before raising rates. It should wait a few months longer Print Headline:  Grant me tighter policy...but not yet Print Fly Title:  The Bank of England UK Only Article:  standard article Issue:  A tsar is born Fly Title:  Grant me tighter policy...but not yet THESE are extraordinary times for the Bank of England. Never before in the Old Lady’s 323-year history has monetary policy been so loose for so long. During the financial crisis in 2008-09 Britain’s base rate of interest was cut to 0.5%. After the Brexit referendum of 2016 the bank cut by a further 0.25 percentage points, in anticipation of the slowdown that most economists believed was to follow. The bank has bought more than £400bn ($525bn) of government bonds under its programme of quantitative easing. At various points in recent years members of the bank’s monetary-policy committee (MPC) have ...
      PubDate: Thu, 26 Oct 2017 14:47:33 +000
  • What goes down…: Higher interest rates could hit Britain’s
           vulnerable economy
    • Abstract: Print section Print Rubric:  Rates are due to rise. The economy may be more vulnerable than it seems Print Headline:  What goes down… Print Fly Title:  Interest rates UK Only Article:  standard article Issue:  A tsar is born Fly Title:  What goes down… Main image:  20171028_BRP003_3.jpg IN A meeting room on a cold autumn day, the governor of the Bank of England settled into a witness chair to give evidence to a group of MPs. Worries were mounting about the economy. GDP growth was slowing and households were highly indebted. Nonetheless the Bank of England began raising interest rates. The governor told everyone to relax. Concerns about a “Christmas debt crisis” caused by higher rates were overblown, he said: “People have exaggerated the vulnerability of the economy to likely changes in policy.”That was in 2003, when Mervyn King was the bank’s governor. For the ...
      PubDate: Thu, 26 Oct 2017 14:47:33 +000
  • Israel’s founding letter: The Balfour Declaration still offers lessons
           to Israel and the Palestinians
    • Abstract: Print section Print Rubric:  Israel’s founding document still has resonance Print Headline:  People of the declaration Print Fly Title:  A century after Balfour UK Only Article:  standard article Issue:  A tsar is born Fly Title:  Israel’s founding letter Location:  CAIRO Main image:  20171028_MAP001_0.jpg IN OCTOBER 1917, in the depths of the first world war, an expectant Chaim Weizmann was waiting in a London anteroom. Britain’s war cabinet was voting on a document, now known as the Balfour Declaration, that would pledge Britain’s support for Zionists’ hopes of statehood in Ottoman-ruled Palestine. Mark Sykes, a British diplomat, rushed out to share the good news: “Weizmann, it’s a boy!” But the 67-word declaration was vague. It offered a Jewish “homeland”, not a state. Nor did Britain explain ...
      PubDate: Thu, 26 Oct 2017 14:47:33 +000
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