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SnapshotsJul 13, 2020 | 19:09 GMT
High Turnout in Hong Kong’s Opposition Primary Portends a Contentious Election Season
High voter turnout in Hong Kong's opposition primary demonstrates the pro-democracy camp's continued momentum toward a strong showing for the city's September legislative election. Despite fears of low turnout amid the draconian national security law, Hong Kong's July 11-12 unofficial pro-democratic primary attracted 610,000 voters -- 13.8 percent of the city's electorate and in excess of the 170,000-person target. The strong public mandate will help the opposition winnow down the normally massive pool of candidates in order to avoid splitting the vote to the advantage of pro-Beijing opponents. Instead of exerting a chilling effect on politics in the city, it also appears that the new national security law has galvanized the opposition, which bodes well for electoral turnout in September.
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AssessmentsJun 30, 2020 | 10:00 GMT
Syrian refugees walk outside a tent at a camp near the Iraqi Kurdish town of Bardarash on Oct. 18, 2019.
COVID-19 Cash Shortages Will Cripple Global Humanitarian Efforts
Reductions in funding for multilateral aid due to the economic fallout from COVID-19 are impacting the fight against the epidemic in conflict zones such as Yemen, raising the prospect of migration flows and renewed fighting, while increasing pressure on private aid organizations to fund humanitarian programs. Funding for multilateral humanitarian aid is dwindling as donor countries increasingly turn inward to solve their own COVID-19 crises at home. Donor countries are providing pandemic relief in various ways, including debt relief, financial swaps and bilateral aid. But global economic contractions, estimated to hover around 7 percent this year, are reducing aid contributions to the United Nations and other institutions, creating severe systemic funding gaps. 
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SnapshotsMay 12, 2020 | 16:09 GMT
COVID-19 Puts EU Defense Spending in Doubt
On May 12, the chief executive of the European Defence Agency, Jiri Sedivy, said the bloc will probably reduce defense spending in its budget for the 2021-2027 period as EU governments focus their resources on dealing with the economic fallout from the pandemic. After the 2016 Brexit referendum, a group of countries led by France pushed for deeper defense cooperation in the European Union to reduce the bloc’s military reliance on the United States, streamline defense spending by pooling resources, and better prepare Europe for geopolitical challenges in the 21st century, which include an emerging China and a potentially aggressive Russia. But Europe’s deepening recession due to COVID-19 has now put these plans in doubt as governments increasingly prioritize stimulus measures, such as granting cheap loans for companies and providing greater financial assistance to low-income households.
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On GeopoliticsMay 10, 2020 | 10:00 GMT
A mother takes photos with her baby under cherry blossoms in full bloom in Tokyo, Japan, on March 29, 2015.
The Geopolitics of Postmodern Parenting
During the two months I recently spent away from work to fulfill my demographic duty, I found that most of my conversations with visitors followed the same pattern. The talk quickly turned from the standard cooing over my baby girl to an intensive debate over parental leave: how much time and flexibility to grant new parents in the workforce, how to reconcile career ambitions with the responsibilities of human procreation, how to compensate for the crazy cost of child care and how to boost birthrates. As a white-collar, taxpaying working mother in the United States, I had become one of the statistics I used to pore over as an analyst pondering the implications of aging and shrinking populations. But you don't have to be a parent -- or an analyst, for that matter -- to care about this stuff. In fact, a lot of the global angst today over stagnant economic
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AssessmentsApr 8, 2020 | 18:16 GMT
A 3D rendering of the novel coronavirus floating in a cellular environment.
COVID-19: Frequently Asked Questions About Getting Back to Work
To help clients sift through the growing sea of COVID-19 information, RANE pulsed its network of experts to level set what should be top of mind for businesses and individuals as the pandemic unfolds. Stratfor’s geopolitical content and analysis will soon be available through RANE’s platform, where members receive exclusive access to a global marketplace of credentialed risk experts and service providers, proprietary community-driven risk intelligence, and a range of support services and risk management programs. For more information about RANE and Stratfor, visit https://go.ranenetwork.com/stratfor/rane.  This FAQ covers the following questions: What do we now know about this illness and who gets it? How can individuals best protect themselves? Do I need to worry about people getting infected by the virus living on things they touch? What do we do if someone shows symptoms while in the workplace? What can I do to mitigate the risk of being shut down by health authorities? How does this end?
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AssessmentsMar 13, 2020 | 10:00 GMT
This photo shows a rows of seats on a passenger aircraft.
As Coronavirus Takes Flight, the Airline Industry Takes Cover
The coronavirus pandemic is ravaging the airline industry, with the most highly impacted countries of China, South Korea, Italy and Iran accounting for over a quarter of global passenger revenue alone. As panicked consumers continue to cancel or suspend their travel plans for fear of getting sick, and as more governments pursue containment measures and travel bans, an increasing number of airlines will be forced to either consolidate or go out of business. In China, this will likely lead to a market that's even more dominated by the state-backed carriers. Bigger airlines in Europe, meanwhile, will merge as revenue losses deal the final blow to their smaller competitors. But while so much is still unknown about how the outbreak will unfold in the weeks ahead, what remains certain is that the airline industry is headed for even more unexpected turbulence.
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On SecurityMar 10, 2020 | 11:00 GMT
A collection of weapons and ammunition federal agents say they found in the apartment of a member of the U.S. Coast Guard accused of plotting a major terror attack against Americans.
The Right-Wing Extremist Threat in Context: Internal Extremist Actors
While there have been a number of highly publicized cases involving military personnel who were violent right-wing extremists such as the Coast Guard officer above, or the Canadian army reservist arrested in Maryland along with other members of "The Base" in January, the threat is by no means limited to the military. Right-wing extremist insiders also pose a threat to companies and organizations, especially given how past attackers such as the Christchurch mosque attacker and the El Paso Walmart shooter have promoted attacks against business executives and their companies. Let's examine some ways that companies and organizations can protect themselves against extremist insiders.
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SnapshotsMar 3, 2020 | 16:53 GMT
Bolsonaro's Support for Anti-Congress Rallies Stirs Fears for Brazil's Democracy
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro's support for a movement to stage demonstrations against the country's Congress on March 15 has led to accusations that he is acting to undermine democracy. The move has the potential to backfire politically as it has been opposed by some conservative elected officials and media figures.
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AssessmentsFeb 20, 2020 | 10:00 GMT
This photo shows workers at Dongfeng Motor's joint venture with Honda in Wuhan, China.
China's Virus Outbreak Has Dented Its Automakers' Bottom Lines
China’s deadly coronavirus outbreak has left few of its economic sectors unscathed, but the effects of shutdowns on its auto manufacturing operations have been -- and will continue to remain -- especially acute. Hubei province, the epicenter of the outbreak, has asked companies not to restart shuttered operations until at least Feb. 21. Production for a number of auto companies outside of Hubei had already been delayed past the Lunar New Year holiday until Feb. 10, and in some cases, production still remains offline. Nevertheless, even once the outbreak subsides, Chinese consumer demand for automobiles will take a substantial hit this year, with estimates showing that demand could fall by at least 5 percent because of the economic slowdown associated with the coronavirus outbreak.
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AssessmentsFeb 7, 2020 | 10:00 GMT
An employee sits in the showroom of an Apple store in Beijing after it closed for the day on Feb. 1, 2020.
The Coronavirus Spreads Fears of a Shutdown in China's Tech Sector
Without question, the new coronavirus has taken a toll on China and many other places in the world, infecting at least 30,600 people and killing 633 as of Feb. 7. But only now, as the Lunar New Year holiday draws to a close, is Beijing preparing to assess just how much economic damage the coronavirus outbreak has wrought, especially as China is central to the global electronics and information technology sector. Ultimately, the breadth of the impact depends on how far the virus spreads beyond its current location. Hubei province and its capital, Wuhan, are not critical nodes for the vast majority of China's electronics sector. But neighboring provinces, including Shaanxi, Henan and Jiangxi, are home to cities that are prominent in the global technology sector, while the provinces with the second and third most confirmed cases so far, Zhejiang and Guangdong, are arguably China's two most critical areas for tech.
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