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AssessmentsSep 9, 2020 | 10:00 GMT
A Greek vessel patrols the waters surrounding the tiny island of Kastellorizo, which is situated just two kilometers off the south coast of Turkey, on Aug. 28, 2020.
What's Driving Turkish Aggression in the Mediterranean Sea
Turkey is putting its 50-year view on maritime rights into practice through its Blue Homeland Doctrine, growing its naval and commercial presence in Mediterranean waters that it claims are part of its exclusive economic zones (EEZs). Oil and gas exploration is becoming a crucial tool in implementing this strategy. But Ankara's attempts to claim extensive maritime resource rights risk broadening to a wider conflict with Greece and other NATO allies that would bring foreign energy projects, and potentially the United States, into the fray.
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SnapshotsAug 31, 2020 | 19:41 GMT
Pemex’s Losses Deepen Mexico’s Financial Woes
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador's failure to strengthen Pemex's finances and shore up domestic oil production will exacerbate Mexico's public finance woes from COVID-19.  On Aug. 24, Mexico's state-owned energy giant Pemex reported its lowest level of monthly crude oil production since 1979, with the company's July output totaling only 1.6 million barrels per day (bpd) -- marking a 0.6 percent decline from June and a 4.5 percent decline from July 2019. Pemex was already struggling before the current COVID-19 crisis, seeing record losses during 2019 and the first half of 2020. Lopez Obrador's attempts to strengthen Pemex's bottom line and increase domestic oil production, however, will continue to fail without new private investment to help increase long-term production, as well as a business plan that forces Pemex to focus on the most profitable areas.
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SnapshotsAug 27, 2020 | 18:06 GMT
A 3D rendering of a satellite image taken over the Aegean Sea.
Greece Suits Up for Another Seafaring Standoff With Turkey
Turkey's expansion of energy exploration in the Mediterranean is prompting Greece to cautiously exercise its international maritime rights in order to protect its own claims to offshore economic resources in the region, such as natural gas and fisheries, without provoking a new round of conflict. On Aug. 26, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis announced that Greece would extend its territorial claim in the Ionian Sea along its Western coastline from six nautical miles to 12 nautical miles -- the maximum extent under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). For now, Athens isn't extending its claims in the Mediterranean and Aegean seas, though Mitsotakis said that Greece maintains the ability to exercise that right in the future if it so chooses.
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SnapshotsAug 26, 2020 | 21:36 GMT
The U.S. Expands Its South China Sea Fight to Chinese Firms and Officials
New U.S. restrictions on Chinese companies and individuals involved in supporting Beijing’s actions in the South China Sea still fall short of more extreme options, demonstrating Washington’s desire to avoid derailing outreach to China, even as overall U.S.-China tensions continue to mount. On Aug. 26, the U.S. Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) added 24 Chinese companies to its entities list, which increases U.S. export controls, for supporting the militarization of China's maritime claims in the South China Sea, specifically citing the violation of Philippine sovereignty as upheld by the 2016 Permanent Court of Arbitration ruling. The list of entities includes five subsidiaries of the massive state-owned enterprise China Communications Construction Company, as well as one shipbuilding group and numerous telecommunications and electronics companies. The new export controls coincide with the U.S. State Department announcing it would also impose a visa ban on Chinese nationals found to be
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AssessmentsAug 25, 2020 | 10:00 GMT
A vintage map of the Middle East.
What's Driving Muslim Countries to Normalize Their Ties With Israel?
The waning influence of the pan-Islamism and pan-Arabism movements, combined with increasing U.S. pressure, will cause Oman, Bahrain and Morocco to soon join the United Arab Emirates in formalizing ties with Israel, accelerating a longer-term normalization trend that no longer hinges on the formation of a Palestinian state. The allure of Israel's technology and defense capabilities could also compel other Muslim states with covert ties and limited histories of overt conflict with Israel, such as Pakistan, to follow suit. Israel will, in turn, see expanding global economic ties that strengthen its post-pandemic recovery, as well as stronger regional allies that bolster its position against Iran should the upcoming U.S. election yield a less hawkish administration in Washington.
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On GeopoliticsAug 21, 2020 | 10:00 GMT
Pedestrians stand on top of a world map at a monument commemorating the Age of Exploration in Lisbon, Portugal.
China, the U.S., and the Geography of the 21st Century
The geographical perspective of the 21st century is just now being formed. And at its heart is a rivalry between China and the United States to succeed Europe’s 500-year centrality in the international system, which will be framed by a shift in global economic activity and trade, new energy resource competition, a weakening Europe and Russia, and a technological battle to control information. The new map of the next century will extend to the ocean floor for resources and subsea cables, to space where low-Earth orbit satellites drive communications, and into the ill-defined domain of cyberspace. 
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AssessmentsAug 14, 2020 | 10:00 GMT
Soldiers patrol the streets in Mocimboa da Praia, Mozambique, on March 7, 2018.
An Insurgent Offensive Looms Large Over Mozambique's Energy Projects
Recent insurgent activity in northern Mozambique suggests a possible evolution of capabilities that could eventually grow to threaten liquified natural gas (LNG) operations in Cabo Delgado. Militants of Islamic State's Central Africa Province (ISCAP) have captured parts of the port town of Mocimboa da Praia in an offensive that consisted of coordinated attacks and interdiction of government reinforcements. Without an effective counteroffensive by government forces, or an intervention by regional forces, ISCAP could secure greater freedom of movement in Cabo Delgado and expand to directly threaten the country's LNG export projects located less than 40 miles north.
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SnapshotsAug 13, 2020 | 21:21 GMT
The UAE Paves the Way for Arab Gulf States to Normalize Their Israeli Ties
On Aug. 13, Israel and the United Arab Emirates announced their intention to normalize relations, paving the way for increased economic and diplomatic ties and setting a precedent for other Arab Gulf states to follow suit. The agreement, which was brokered by the United States, sets a roadmap for Emirati and Israeli officials to sign trade, travel, investment and technology deals as they pursue a path of diplomatic normalization for the first time in either country's history. It also includes a pledge by Israel to maintain the freeze of its pledged annexation of parts of the West Bank, as well as for Israel and the United Arab Emirates to cooperate on the development of a COVID-19 vaccine. The deal, however, notably does not create a realistic roadmap to restart the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, nor does it change the current trajectory in the West Bank toward making a future Palestinian state
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PodcastsAug 4, 2020 | 21:10 GMT
RANE Insights: Dealing With Megadisasters and Multifaceted Crises Part II
In the second of two podcasts on disaster preparedness, RANE Founder David Lawrence sits down with Jeff Schlegelmilch, director of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness at Columbia University's Earth Institute and author of "Rethinking Readiness: a Brief Guide to Twenty-First-Century Megadisasters."
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