THE SETTING for Robert Harris’s thriller, “Enigma”, is wartime Britain, where everything is rationed except for the rain. It follows Tom Jericho, a young prodigy stationed at Bletchley Park, the real-life centre of code-breaking operations, who is part of a team of cryptologists trying to break the code used by Germany’s armed forces. The work has frustration built in. Any progress can be undone if the enemy changes the code—which he will if he suspects that it has been cracked.
The novel comes to mind when considering the mysteries of shifts in the economic cycle and market reactions. The mood has clearly changed for the better since the middle of last year. Fears of recession have receded. Global equity prices have rallied. Bond yields have perked up. A truce in the trade war, however fragile, has helped. But the improvement in mood coincided with signs of life in Asia’s manufacturing hubs.
The death toll from Saturday's missile attack on a military training camp in Yemen has risen to at least 111, the country's government has said.
The missile struck a mosque at the al-Estiqbal camp in Marib where soldiers had gathered for evening prayers.
The government blamed the rebel Houthi movement, but it did not immediately confirm it had launched the missile.
It was one of the bloodiest single attacks since the conflict in Yemen escalated five years ago.
The fighting between the Houthis and forces loyal to the government, which is backed by a Saudi-led coalition, has devastated the country, killed an estimated 100,000 people, and triggered the world's worst humanitarian crisis.
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Chinese leaders stretching back to Deng Xiaoping have often thought in terms of decades. A decade encompasses two of China’s famous five-year plans, and it’s a long-enough period to notice real changes in a country’s trajectory.
As it happens, I spent time in China at both ends of the decade that just ended, first in 2010 and again recently. And I was left with one main conclusion: China has just enjoyed a very good decade.
Yes, it still has big problems, including the protests in Hong Kong. But by the standards that matter most to China’s leaders, the country made major gains during the 2010s. Its economy is more diversified. Its scientific community is more advanced, and its surveillance state more powerful. Its position in Asia is stronger. China, in short, has done substantially more to close the gap with the global power that it is chasing — the United States — than seemed likely a decade ago.
Many Americans, of course, understand that China is on the...
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