Book Entry: Review: ‘Empire of Guns’ Challenges the Role of War in Industrialization

Review: ‘Empire of Guns’ Challenges the Role of War in Industrialization Photo “Empire of Guns” aims to overturn the conventional wisdom about the role of firearms in the world’s economic development. Adam Smith, in his classic “The Wealth of Nations,” was an early proponent of the now mainstream view that wars are unfortunate accidents that have “crowded out” more productive investments.
In “Empire of Guns: The Violent Making of the Industrial Revolution,” the Stanford history professor Priya Satia aims to overturn this conventional wisdom about the role of guns specifically, and war and conquest more generally, in the world’s economic development.
Given that “Britain was involved in major military operations” for most of the years leading up to and during the Industrial Revolution, Professor Satia argues that imagining an alternative universe in which peace prevailed is a fool’s errand. (“It is impossible to factor the violence out.”) She contends, rather than crowding out infrastruc..

Nigeria’s President, Facing Calls to Step Aside, Says He Will Run Again

Nigeria’s President, Facing Calls to Step Aside, Says He Will Run Again Photo President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria, left, has taken extended medical leave abroad at a time when Nigeria faces serious problems. Credit Stefan Heunis/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images ABUJA, Nigeria — Despite calls to step aside and concerns about mysterious health problems, President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria on Monday declared his intention to seek re-election next year, ending months of speculation.
In a closed-door meeting of the National Executive Committee, after national news outlets had left the room, Mr. Buhari, 75, announced that he would run again, according to people who were present and briefed reporters afterward. They said he had told the committee that he was responding to popular demand that he seek another term.
Mr. Buhari has faced widespread criticism over his government’s inability to defeat the renewed Boko Haram insurgency in the northeast, or to end violence between herders and ..

Top Somali Politician Steps Down, Avoiding Showdown With President

Top Somali Politician Steps Down, Avoiding Showdown With President Photo The resignation of Mohamed Osman Jawari, right, the speaker of Somalia’s Parliament, could bring a peaceful resolution to his power struggle with President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed. Credit Sadak Mohamed/Anadolu Agency, via Getty Images MOGADISHU, Somalia — The speaker of Somalia’s Parliament resigned on Monday ahead of a no-confidence vote, sparing the country a repeat of the armed standoff last week that threatened to descend into violence.
The decision by the speaker, Mohamed Osman Jawari, could mean a peaceful resolution to the power struggle between him and the president, Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed.
Last week, a no-confidence motion by Mr. Mohamed’s allies against Mr. Jawari led to a face-off between armed members of the security services — those loyal to the speaker inside the Parliament, and those loyal to the president outside. The deadlock lasted several hours and ended after mediation by the African Union..

Hungary Election Was Free but Not Entirely Fair, Observers Say

Hungary Election Was Free but Not Entirely Fair, Observers Say Photo Prime Minister Viktor Orban of Hungary, center, in Budapest on Sunday with other Hungarian leaders after election results were announced. His party, Fidesz, secured more than 49 percent of the vote. Credit Szilard Koszticsak/MTI, via Associated Press BUDAPEST, Hungary — One day after Viktor Orban and his governing Fidesz party and its allies won a sweeping election victory, independent election monitors said Monday that the party had used the resources of the state on a very large scale to bolster its chances of winning.
“Voters had a wide range of political options but intimidating and xenophobic rhetoric, media bias, and opaque campaign financing constricted the space for genuine political debate,” said Douglas Wake, the head of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, or O.S.C.E., mission in Hungary.
“The ubiquitous overlap between government information and ruling coalition campaigns, and other abu..

Federal Budget Deficit Projected to Top $1 Trillion in 2020

Federal Budget Deficit Projected to Top $1 Trillion in 2020 Photo The government’s mounting debt has seemed of little consequence on Capitol Hill in recent months as Republicans in Congress successfully worked to pass a sweeping package of tax cuts. Credit Tom Brenner/The New York Times WASHINGTON — The federal government’s annual budget deficit is set to widen significantly in the next few years, topping $1 trillion in 2020 despite healthy economic growth, according to new projections from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.
The national debt, which has topped $21 trillion, is expected to soar to more than $33 trillion in 2028. By then, debt held by the public will almost match the size of the nation’s economy, reaching 96 percent of gross domestic product, a higher level than any point since just after World War II and well past the level that economists say could court a crisis.
The new C.B.O. projection is the first since President Trump signed a tax cut that is expected t..

Zuckerberg to Tell Congress Facebook Made ‘Big Mistake’ on Multiple Fronts

Zuckerberg to Tell Congress Facebook Made ‘Big Mistake’ on Multiple Fronts Photo Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief executive, is expected to tell Congress that “it will take some time to work through all of the changes we need to make,” according to a copy of his testimony. Credit Jeff Roberson/Associated Press When he goes before Congress this week, Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief executive, will issue a broad apology for letting the website be used as a conduit for fake news, election meddling by foreign entities, hate speech and privacy abuses, according to a copy of his testimony released on Monday.
“We didn’t take a broad enough view of our responsibility, and that was a big mistake,” Mr. Zuckerberg said in comments published by the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. “It was my mistake, and I’m sorry. I started Facebook, I run it, and I’m responsible for what happens here.”
Facebook is entering a week of intense scrutiny in Washington, with Mr. Zuckerberg scheduled to testi..