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AssessmentsMay 6, 2021 | 20:07 GMT
A child runs past people sitting near the Galata Bridge in Istanbul, Turkey, on Feb. 8, 2021.
An Aging Population Looms Large Over Turkey's Economy
Despite attempts by the government to incentivize having larger families, Turkey’s fertility rate will likely continue to decline -- weighing down its economy with older and more expensive workers, higher health care costs, and weaker buying power for younger citizens. Over the past two decades, Turkey has seen a consistent decline in the number of live births per 1,000 women between the ages of 15 to 49, also known as the fertility rate. The percentage of Turkey’s population between 0-17 years old dropped to its lowest point on record in 2020, with a decline of -5.5% in the child growth rate. This drop was likely partially due to parents delaying having children during the COVID-19 pandemic. But last year’s deeper decline only fed into Turkey’s greater slide in national fertility, which began around the year 2000. As its population ages, Turkey could have a majority non-working population before the end
SnapshotsMay 4, 2021 | 15:15 GMT
Scottish National Party (SNP) leader Nicola Sturgeon walks past her campaign bus with SNP candidate Angus Robertson in Edinburgh on May 4, 2021.
Previewing Scotland’s Parliamentary Elections
Scotland is unlikely to secede from the United Kingdom in the short-to-medium term, but the issue will continue to raise questions about the future of Britain’s territorial integrity and produce political and economic risk. Scotland will hold a parliamentary election on May 6. The governing Scottish National Party (SNP) has promised to ask the British government for a second independence referendum if it wins. According to the SNP, Britain’s exit from the European Union has substantially changed the political and economic situation in the United Kingdom, making an independence referendum necessary. First Minister and SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon argues the referendum should happen in the next legislature, but only after the COVID-19 crisis is over, which means that the party remains flexible regarding a date. The British government opposes a new vote, arguing that the 2014 referendum (where 55% voted to remain in the United Kingdom) settled the issue “for
SnapshotsApr 28, 2021 | 19:34 GMT
Northern Ireland’s first minister and leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), Arlene Foster, looks at her watch outside the Parliament Buildings in Belfast.
How the Resignation of Northern Ireland’s Leader Will Impact Brexit
The replacement of Northern Ireland’s first minister with a more hard-line leader could make it harder for unionists and republicans to cooperate in the implementation of the EU-U.K. Withdrawal Agreement, inspire new rounds of riots in the region, and ultimately jeopardize London and Brussels’ free trade agreement. On April 28, Arlene Foster announced she will step down as Northern Ireland’s first minister at the end of June and as leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) on May 28 amid growing calls for her exit within the party. Foster’s announcement comes a day after a group of more than 20 DUP members in both the Northern Irish Legislative Assembly and U.K. Parliament signed a letter withdrawing their confidence in Foster’s leadership. A small group of DUP members from the Northern Irish legislature and the U.K. Parliament -- most of whom signed the letter -- will now be tasked with appointing
SnapshotsApr 26, 2021 | 20:57 GMT
A demonstrator displays a portrait of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny during a protest in Berlin, Germany, on April 21, 2021.
The Ailing Health of Navalny and His Political Movement in Russia
Despite attracting global attention and domestic support, the Russian political movement led by jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny faces severe challenges that will probably leave it unable to meaningfully contest legislative elections later this year. On April 23, Navalny announced on social media that he was ending his prison hunger strike on the advice of his doctors, saying he had “achieved enough” in drawing attention to his case and deteriorating health condition. Several days earlier, Russian authorities also allowed civilian doctors not affiliated with the prison service to examine Navalny for the first time since his lawyers publicly raised concerns about his worsening health in late March. But Navalny is by no means out of the woods regarding his health, which has been deteriorating since he was jailed in February -- due possibly to the lingering effects of being poisoned with a nerve agent during a Russian assassination attempt in
SITUATION REPORTApr 22, 2021 | 19:08 GMT
Russia: Moscow to Withdraw Troops Near Ukraine, But Keep Weapons
Russian troops near Ukraine and in Crimea will return to their permanent bases by May 1 following the completion of military exercises, but heavy weaponry recently deployed to western Russia will remain in the area for additional exercises later this year, AP reported April 22, citing a statement made by Russia’s defense minister. 
SnapshotsApr 22, 2021 | 17:10 GMT
People wait in an observation area at a COVID-19 vaccination site in the Catalonia Railway Museum on April 15, 2021, in Vilanova i la Geltru, Spain.
After a Rough Start, Europe Picks Up the Pace on Vaccines
As COVID-19 vaccination campaigns accelerate, EU governments will soften their lockdown measures in the coming weeks to boost economic activity through the end of the year. On April 21, the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control said that measures such as social distancing and the wearing of face masks could be “relaxed” when fully vaccinated people meet with other fully vaccinated people. Several EU member states have also recently announced plans to soften their social distancing measures in the coming weeks. This is meant to allow additional sectors of the economy to reopen, as well as attract foreign tourists as weather conditions in Europe improve. 
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