Economist 7/19/16

  1. Tallies by the Washington Post show that police shot and killed 990 people in America in 2015 and 552 people so far this year.In 1985, the Supreme Court considered the case of Edward Garner, a 15-year-old boy who was shot and killed by police after he ignored calls to “halt” and fled on foot from the scene of a burglary. The officers pursuing Mr Garner (who was later found with a stolen purse and $10) did not believe him to be armed, and indeed he carried no weapon. But Tennessee law, codifying a long-standing common-law rule, held that “[i]f, after notice of the intention to arrest the defendant, he either flee[s] or forcibly resist[s], the officer may use all the necessary means to effect the arrest.” By a vote of 6-3, the justices found that legal standard too permissive.The upshot of this legal framework is that police need simply to be reasonable. The standard’s ambiguity explains why it is notoriously difficult to prosecute officers involved in seemingly rash lethal encounters.
  2. SINCE the 1960s, whenever Turkey’s meddlesome generals have seized power, Turks have accused America of being responsible. After the botched coup attempt on July 15th by a cabal of mid-ranking generals and junior officers, the old reflex appeared again.The  biggest source of friction is the presence in America of Fethullah Gulen, a cleric who leads a secretive Muslim sect, and whom the Turkish government accuses of masterminding the failed putsch.Since 1999 Mr Gulen has been living in self-imposed exile in rural Pennsylvania. For years, Mr Erdogan has accused the imam, a former ally in his battle to declaw the army, of seeking to topple his government. The Turks demand that America hand him over. Yet Turkey has not formally requested Mr Gulen’s extradition; the file, over 1,000 pages long, has yet to be fully translated into English.Western diplomats reckon it will be padded with outlandish, conspiratorial claims, and that federal prosecutors will throw it out.
  3. Today Turkey  is seen as a buffer between Europe and the Middle East, with its homicidal jihadists and millions of Syrian refugees. And continued access to Turkey’s Incirlik air-base is vital to the American-led war effort against Islamic State (IS). Some Western officials worry that Turkey will seal off the base if America refuses to hand over Mr Gulen.Turkey’s relations with America were already strained by America’s support for the Syrian Kurdish militia groups known as the People’s Protection Units (YPG). The YPG are widely seen as the most effective force fighting IS in Syria, but they are closely linked to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), an outlawed guerrilla movement that has been fighting the Turkish state for decades in the name of Kurdish autonomy.Turkey views the YPG as terrorists too, and has repeatedly asked America to ditch them, only to be snubbed each time.
  4. AMERICA’S temporary help industry first emerged after the second world war, when companies like Manpower and Kelly Girl Service began “renting out” office workers on a short-term basis. In those early years, temps numbered in the hundreds of thousands. Today, the industry employs some 2.9m people, over 2% of America’s total workforce. Since the country’s economic recovery began in 2009, temporary employment has been responsible for nearly one in ten net new jobs. But as temping has grown, the quality of the jobs it provides has deteriorated. According to government statistics, temps earn 20-25% less per hour than their permanent counterparts in similar roles. And few are covered by health-care or pension plans.Many of the costs that employers of temps avoid, such as health insurance, are now borne in part by taxpayers in the form of increased social-benefits spending. Temp work may also suppress the wages of permanent employees.
  5.  London has become the tech capital of Europe: according to one study, more than 1,000 tech investment projects were located in London in 2005-14, many more than the next-most attractive city, Paris (381), or indeed the whole of France (853). Britain attracted £524m of investment in financial tech (fintech) alone in 2015.Following the referendum, however, the mood has changed.That is largely because tech companies rely heavily on the free movement of labour for their success. Half of TechHub’s members in London are non-British, and almost one-third are from continental Europe, a pattern repeated across most of the industry.Furthermore, fintech startups could be hit by the withdrawal of “passporting” rights in Europe, whereby London-based firms can sell financial services throughout the EU.With London’s future under a cloud, other cities have pounced on the opportunity to supplant it as Europe’s next tech capital. Paris is one candidate; Berlin also has its eyes on the prize. 

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