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What's not to like? Besides the pollution, congestion and risk of being wiped out entirely by rising tides. Photo: Ardiles Rante/Barcroft Images/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

Jakarta is overcrowded, polluted, and sinking faster than any other city on Earth. Still, it was shocking when President Joko Widodo announced that it will no longer be Indonesia’s capital.

What to watch: The final destination is not clear, and the capital may never get there. The Economist breaks it down.

  • “The relocation could take ten years. It is likely to face stern resistance, not least from Indonesia’s tycoons, who do not want to see the value of their Jakarta penthouses fall.”
  • “Civil servants will probably object too, because the most likely new site for the capital is something of a backwater.”
  • “Palangkaraya is a city of 260,000 in the province of Central Kalimantan, part of the Indonesian portion of Borneo. Whereas Jakarta lacks greenery, Palangkaraya has it in abundance: the city is in the middle of the jungle.”
  • “There is a titchy airport; the nearest seaport is a four-hour drive away, past an orangutan reserve. Much of the surrounding terrain is soft and swampy — not ideal for building skyscrapers. And when nearby peatlands burn, a toxic haze fills the air. Government officials may be sinking and choking in their new digs, too.”

Go deeper

33 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Trump leaves White House for the final time

President Trump took off on Marine One at 8:17 a.m on Wednesday morning, departing the White House for the last time, en route to Florida.

The big picture: Trump's final hours will be marked by snubbing his successor and granting pardons to many of his allies who have been swept up in corruption scandals.

Inauguration Day dashboard

Screenshot: Fox News

President Trump has left the White House en route to a farewell event at Andrews Air Force Base, kicking off the day that will culminate with President-elect Joe Biden taking office.

What's next: The inaugural celebration for young Americans is being livestreamed, starting at 10am.

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
1 hour ago - Economy & Business

Janet Yellen said all the right things to reassure the markets

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Treasury Secretary nominee and former Fed chair Janet Yellen's confirmation hearing before the Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday showed markets just what they can expect from the administration of President-elect Joe Biden: more of what they got under President Trump — at least for now.

What it means: Investors and big companies reaped the benefits of ultralow U.S. interest rates and low taxes for most of Trump's term as well as significant increases in government spending, even before the coronavirus pandemic.

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