Economist 1/28/15

  1. “broken windows” policing, an approach to law enforcement based on the theory that cracking down on minor crimes helps to prevent major ones. Critics argue that the effect is discriminatory, as police statistically tend to target non-whites. Defenders such as Bill Bratton (pictured), the head of the New York Police Department (NYPD), and George Kelling, the architect of the original theory, champion the theory as the reason why crime is plummeting in so many cities.The term “broken windows” refers to an observation made in the early 1980s by Mr Kelling, a criminologist, and James Wilson, a social scientist, that when a building window is broken and left unrepaired, the rest of the windows will soon be broken too.While Mr Bratton was head of New York’s transit police in 1990, he ordered his officers to arrest as many turnstile-jumpers as possible. They found that one in seven arrested was wanted for other crimes, and that one in 20 carried a knife, gun or other weapon. Within a year, subway crime had fallen by 30%.“Broken windows”-style policing has arguably helped to reduce crime. But other factors have also helped.
  2. China has many large cities—more than 100 of them have more than a million people—but that some are supersized. At the end of last year the government at last acknowledged the special nature of these, introducing the term “megacity” to describe those whose populations, including that of their satellite towns, exceed 10m. Of the 30 cities worldwide that match this definition, six are in China: Shanghai (23m), Beijing (19.5m), Chongqing (13m), Guangzhou (12m), Shenzhen (11m) and Tianjin (11m).Medium-sized cities of 1.5m-6.5m are outperforming bigger ones in terms of environmental protection, economic development, efficient use of resources and the provision of welfare.The giant cities are polluted, pricey and congested.The number of cars has increased more than tenfold in the past decade, to 64m. The combination of superblocks and car-lust often adds up to a giant jam.The ill-defined ownership rights of farmers have encouraged the sprawl. Officials can expropriate rural land easily and at little cost.China’s megacities are less dense than equivalents elsewhere in the world.
  3. . A new report by the Pew Research Centre shows that the majority of Americans think women are just as capable of being good political and business leaders as men.After all, the 114th Congress includes a record number of women (104) serving in the House and Senate. On the corporate front, 26 women now lead as CEOs of Fortune 500 companies; that’s up from zero in 1995.But, in fact, the 104 congresswomen only make up 19% of Congress and the female CEOs are only 5% of all Fortune 500 CEOs.In light of the numbers and research, how is it possible that most Americans still express such positive views of female leadership?Americans claim to hold equitable views—they know these are the right views to have, much like most people will certainly say they are not racist. But converting such views into practice is another matter entirely.
  4. China and Pakistan , the two countries have such a long-standing and harmonious relationship.Yet misgivings are also abound.Chinese engineers working on aid projects in Pakistan have been killed by Pakistani extremists.The authorities in the capital do not do enough, the Chinese complain, to destroy Pakistani havens of the East Turkestan Islamic Movement, a Muslim separatist group drawn from the Uighur ethnic minority who live in China’s western Xinjiang region.China helped Pakistan acquire the nuclear bomb, and is Pakistan’s biggest supplier of military equipment. Now it is building two sizeable civilian nuclear reactors that should help ease the country’s chronic energy shortfall.
  5. The FDLR, the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda, is accused of rape, plunder and the killing of civilians in the border area around Lake Kivu, contributing to the political chaos that has reigned in Congo ever since their arrival. The UN has long tried to neutralise the FDLR, along with more than a dozen other militias around the lake. Six months ago it issued a deadline of January 2nd for the FDLR to hand in its weapons. Only a small number of militiamen complied.Plans for the attack by the UN contingent, which is expected within days, follow diplomatic pressure from America and Rwanda. The main contributors to the intervention force, South Africa and Tanzania, have been less keen.Nowhere else does the UN conduct offensive military operations. The UN does have some form in stamping out murderous militias.he UN will never have enough troops to secure the vast country, and the national army is corrupt, ineffectual and brutal.

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