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The fallout from overturning Roe

Also: What to expect from NATO’s “transformative” summit

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Also: What to expect from NATO’s “transformative” summit
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June 26th 2022
The Economist today
A Sunday edition of our daily newsletter

Hello from London,

After the Supreme Court decision on Friday, overturning the constitutional right to abortion in America, how quickly will conditions change on the ground? In 13 states (Arkansas, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and Wyoming) trigger bans now follow the court’s decision. This means laws are coming into force to ban abortion there. And other bans will surely follow soon, as America develops a patchwork of differing legal regimes around abortion. Expect schemes to get under way that help women to get abortions elsewhere if they live in abortion-hostile states, for example through special funding to pay for travel and medical expenses. After the fallout of the Supreme Court’s decision, America will be more dangerously divided.

Turning to Europe, I recall conversations in our offices, not many years ago, when colleagues asked whether NATO still had a purpose. As Russia’s war in Ukraine enters its fifth month, and as leaders gather in Madrid this week to discuss the alliance’s new strategy, such questions are almost forgotten. Jens Stoltenberg, the secretary-general, tells us that this summit will be “transformative”. You can read our take on exactly what is expected from NATO’s shindig in an article we have just published.

Despite the difficulties facing NATO, divisions persist inside it. These concern how forcefully to stand up to Russia or China, or on how much to worry that America—if, say, Donald Trump returns as president—won’t remain a reliable ally. In the shorter term there’s the tricky matter of Turkey’s president refusing to let Sweden or Finland into the club. I’d point you to Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s column for us, from a month ago, on that topic.

Other questions loom. We considered the future of energy supplies in our most recent cover story, asking if and how rich countries (in particular) can make a quick transition to cleaner sources while also cutting our reliance on Russian exports of gas and oil. The needs of climate security and national security may align in the long-term, but how to get from here to there? One answer may be to build more nuclear power stations and (yes, it’s hard to believe) one coming up in Britain may be a model for others to study.

We’re also asking how different countries are getting back to normal as the effects of the pandemic ease. Our sister organisation, EIU, publishes a “liveability index” each year, for cities around the world. Bad luck if you live in China, where ongoing lockdowns must be endured. But for most of the world, things have been on the up of late. As for the city that comes top of the index, it’s pleasant enough to visit, but I know I’d find it to be a terrifically dull spot to be a journalist.

As most of us (sorry friends in Australia, Chile, New Zealand and beyond) are heading into what should be warm and sunny days, I want to flag our dedicated collection of Summer Reads. My colleague, Stephanie Studer, our US digital editor based in New York, is bringing together her favourite articles over the coming months. Some will be brain-expanding reads for those keen on self-improvement; others are just downright delightful tales. Personally I’d flag our new reading lists, where colleagues recommend a handful of books so you can become expert on a given topic. Try our recommended five best books on football, or the seven books for grasping modern France, for example.

Please keep your comments flowing, whether about NATO, which cities really are the most liveable, or anything else, by writing to me at [email protected]. And you’re most welcome to follow me on Twitter.

Adam Roberts
Digital editor

Recommended reads

Abortion in America

The Supreme Court’s rejection of Roe will hurt the poorest most

Energetic efforts are needed to soften the blow

After Roe v Wade

The fallout from overturning Roe

In an even more divided America, the battle over abortion goes on

Jolting back to life

NATO holds its most important summit in generations

The alliance is fortifying its eastern borders. But it is divided over how far to go in Ukraine

Russia and Ukraine

Recep Tayyip Erdogan on NATO expansion

Turkey’s president explains why his country is blocking Sweden and Finland from joining

The energy crisis

How to fix the world’s energy emergency without wrecking the environment

Even as they firefight, governments must resolve the conflict between safe supply and a safe climate

Nuclear family

Energy security gives climate-friendly nuclear-power plants a new appeal

To make good on it they have to get easier to build

Daily chart

The world’s most liveable cities

Life is getting back to normal, if not quite everywhere


Five essential books on football

An eclectic selection covering the beautiful game and why it matters


Our Paris bureau chief picks seven books to make sense of modern France

A readers’ guide to understanding the paradoxical country at the heart of Europe

Also from The Economist

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