Trolls, Loan Sharks and Protest: Weekend Reads

(Bloomberg) --

It was a week dominated by the summit between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin and the White House struggling to explain the U.S. president’s posture on Russian election meddling. Political drama consumed the U.K. parliament, too, where it’s become clear the country’s most important economic and political decision since World War II – the terms of its exit from the European Union – will be taken on the back of a knife-edge vote later this year.

We’ve got analysis on those topics and more in this edition of Weekend Reads.

Trolls, Loan Sharks and Protest: Weekend Reads

How Trump’s Pro-Putin Remarks May Help Protect the Russia Probe
Chris Strohm and Tom Schoenberg explain why the effects of Trump’s first one-on-one meeting with Putin will reverberate for months - most immediately, by reducing pressure from some Republicans to squash Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into election meddling.

China Battles France for Business in Its Former African Colonies
After establishing itself as a top investor throughout much of Africa, China is now going head-to-head against France in its former colonies in the west of the continent, particularly in the area’s biggest economy — Ivory Coast. Pauline Bax and Olivier Monnier look at the Chinese companies winning deals on everything from construction projects and financial services to pay-TV. 

Nicaraguan Economy in Free Fall as Hundreds Killed in Protests
Michael McDonald examine three months of deadly anti-government protests that are hammering Nicaragua’s economy, until recently one of Latin America’s strongest. With the four-term President Daniel Ortega rejecting early elections, the violence shows no sign of letting up.

World of Trolls: A Global Guide to State-Sponsored Online Hate
All over the world, governments are fashioning digital hate mobs to squelch dissent. Michael Riley, Lauren Etter and Bibhudatta Pradhan show how in this interactive feature.

Trolls, Loan Sharks and Protest: Weekend Reads

Loan Sharks and Gangsters Await Immigrants Flown Home by U.S.
Ramón Salas left Guatemala in June, accompanied by his 13-year-old grandson. He returned alone. Read his story and why migrants expelled from the U.S. often have little choice but to head north again.

One Country, Two Presidents: AMLO Is in No Mood to Wait His Turn
Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador isn’t bothering with the rituals of Mexican political meetings, write Nacha Cattan and Amy Stillman. He may not take office until December, but he’s already set to push a new agenda on oil, trade and the budget

Dying Alone in Japan: The Industry Devoted to What’s Left Behind
Economic insecurity is leading young Japanese to delay marriage and children — or skip them altogether. By some estimates, the country’s population could shrink by a third over the next 50 years, and there’s little chance the trend will reverse. Adam Minter looks at what a dearth of heirs means in one of the world’s oldest societies.

World Cup’s Soft Power Worked for Russia. Now Qatar Wants Some
If the World Cup just helped burnish Russia’s international standing, now it’s the turn of Qatar to try and benefit from the enduring links between sport and politics. Mohammed Sergie explores why the planet’s richest nation wants to exercise some soft power.

And finally …  Cheaper than a Gulfstream, nimbler than a superyacht, a second passport — or a third or fourth — has become another trophy for the ultra-wealthy. Devon Pendleton and Sam Dodge show the cost of citizenship. Click here to see the details.

Trolls, Loan Sharks and Protest: Weekend Reads

 

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