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  • OPINION

    Don't write off Merkel prematurely

    News, Leonid Bershidsky, Published on 31/10/2018

    » I have warned repeatedly against writing off German Chancellor Angela Merkel as she faced challenge after challenge in recent years. I'm going to issue another such warning now, even though it might seem counter-intuitive given her announcement on Monday that she will give up the leadership of her Christian Democratic Union (CDU) in December and not run for a parliamentary seat in 2021.

  • OPINION

    Europe is helping Uber to improve

    News, Leonid Bershidsky, Published on 03/10/2018

    » On Monday, Uber returned to Dusseldorf, Germany, a city it was forced to abandon in 2015. This is a victory both for German regulators and for Uber, or rather, for its new version under Chief Executive Dara Khosrowshahi. It shows that the San Francisco-based company can actually function as a tech platform, rather than as a taxi business that pretends to be a tech platform.

  • OPINION

    Elon Musk doesn't need more sleep, he needs better sleep

    News, Leonid Bershidsky, Published on 22/08/2018

    » Last week, Arianna Huffington said Elon Musk's lack of sleep is impairing his performance. "The science is clear," she wrote after Tesla's chief executive officer told <i>The New York Times</i> that he works 120 hours a week, leaving him with little time to rest.

  • OPINION

    Death, diamonds, Russia and Africa

    News, Leonid Bershidsky, Published on 06/08/2018

    » The murder of three Russian journalists last week in a remote area of the Central African Republic, the world's poorest country according to the World Bank, has turned a spotlight on what looks like a big Kremlin play for influence and resources in Africa. Where China has spent decades and billions of dollars trying to entrench itself there, Russia is offering its brute force and strong appetite for risk. It's already making headway.

  • OPINION

    What's scary about Facebook's new troll findings

    News, Leonid Bershidsky, Published on 03/08/2018

    » Facebook's widely publicised discovery of a possible influence operation through "inauthentic" accounts warrants some scrutiny -- and some reflection about the difference between a genuine political debate on social networks versus its simulated version.

  • OPINION

    Social media needs bigger clean-up

    News, Leonid Bershidsky, Published on 31/07/2018

    » The plunge of Facebook and Twitter shares last week shows that both companies are hostages to investors' unrealistic perceptions of how quickly they should grow even as they purge bots and trolls. Moving to eliminate all fake and malicious accounts, as well as making new ones very hard to register, would be scary given these inflated expectations.

  • OPINION

    Fighting tax dodgers can kill growth

    News, Leonid Bershidsky, Published on 26/07/2018

    » It's easy to be outraged about multinational corporations' shifting of profits to tax havens, but much harder to figure out how to stop them from doing it without hurting the economy. Evidence exists that curbing tax avoidance opportunities makes these firms move actual jobs, not just accounting profits, overseas.

  • OPINION

    Innovation no fix for urban transport ills

    News, Leonid Bershidsky, Published on 03/07/2018

    » Urban transportation is undergoing a revolution. Offerings such as Uber and Lyft, as well as car- and bike-sharing services are widely believed to reduce congestion and generally make urban dwellers more mobile; driverless cars are expected to provide further benefits. Yet the notion that these innovations always make things better is far from a given: The new services are a net good only if they complement traditional public transportation systems rather than compete with them.

  • OPINION

    Putin, Trump have nothing to talk about

    News, Leonid Bershidsky, Published on 29/06/2018

    » The Singapore meeting between President Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un made for a great propaganda film for North Korean TV, with swelling music, a swooning commentator and swanky pageantry. The planned summit between Mr Trump and President Vladimir Putin won't even produce that; it will be a pure waste of time for everyone involved.

  • OPINION

    Merkel joins US on trade 'low road'

    News, Leonid Bershidsky, Published on 15/06/2018

    » After failing to persuade President Donald Trump that punitive tariffs on European imports aren't a good idea, Chancellor Angela Merkel has apparently decided to fight back by taking a page from his playbook and manipulating facts.

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