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SnapshotsAug 5, 2020 | 19:36 GMT
An Explosion Risks Razing Lebanon’s Last Shreds of Stability
A massive explosion in Beirut will intensify already potent popular anger at the Lebanese government and contribute to political infighting, even as it opens the door for much-needed humanitarian aid in the near term. The catastrophic explosion at the port of Beirut sent a shockwave miles through the surrounding area, destroying thousands of homes and buildings. The blast has so far killed over 100 people while injuring thousands more. Available evidence about the nature of the explosion aligns with the government's account of the accident, pointing at gross negligence that will elicit anger at authorities. The damage to Lebanon's most critical port, even if temporary, will also exacerbate the country's existing food and supply shortages.
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AssessmentsJul 16, 2020 | 10:00 GMT
The Huawei logo is pictured on a router during a 5G event in London on Feb. 20, 2020.
U.S. Actions Against Huawei Will Only Embolden China’s Push to Grow Its Tech Sector
Escalating U.S. actions against Huawei will only motivate China to pump its domestic technology sector with even more funding and talent, which will in turn prompt the United States to impose more restrictions on international companies doing business with Huawei and other Chinese firms that pose a threat to its global tech dominance. This will result in a cat-and-mouse game in which Washington deploys whatever financial and diplomatic tools are at its disposal to close any loopholes that China and Chinese tech companies can exploit to better compete with the West. 
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SnapshotsJun 30, 2020 | 19:49 GMT
China's Security Law Ushers in a New and Uncertain Era in Hong Kong
The passing of China's new Hong Kong national security law marks the start of an uncertain and potentially volatile phase in the city's ongoing political crisis, as pro-democracy forces square-off with newly empowered city authorities backed by Beijing, increasing the risk of a sweeping crackdown on dissent that could also impact foreign institutions. Whether the next period sees tumultuous protests or a stifling of the pro-democracy camp will now depend on how Hong Kong authorities choose to apply their new sweeping powers and how the prosecution of such crimes proceed in the court system. Hong Kong's pro-democracy camp, for its part, will work to balance the need to maintain public furor against Beijing's ongoing erosion of the city's autonomy with the need to also save its strength for September legislative council elections, where it hopes to gain ground and challenge Beijing-aligned authorities.
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SnapshotsJun 25, 2020 | 10:00 GMT
The Worst Global Recession in 80 Years Is Here. Where’s the Bottom?
Prospects for a quick global economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic are officially dead, with all major international financial institutions and private forecasters now projecting huge cumulative losses and an uneven, prolonged climb out of the world’s steepest recession in 80 years. Economic models have proven incapable of dealing with uncertainties and discontinuities of the current unprecedented global lockdown. But even though magnitudes vary, recent forecasts are headed in the same direction -- down. 
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SnapshotsJun 24, 2020 | 10:00 GMT
Seeking a Political Win, Trump Takes Aim at Immigration Visas
After weeks of speculation, U.S. President Donald Trump finally issued a presidential proclamation on June 22 outlining visa changes that will significantly impede the ability of U.S. tech companies and universities to attract international talent and investment. Should they become permanent, the changes could place the United States' competitive advantage as a business hub in jeopardy by making U.S. visa programs more difficult for foreigners to access. 
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AssessmentsJun 9, 2020 | 19:38 GMT
Pro-democracy protesters shine the flashlights on their cellphones as they take part in a rally in Hong Kong on June 9, 2020.
Hong Kong’s Election Lights the Fuse for Another Wave of Unrest
A year after the city's extradition bill prompted more than a million people to take to the streets in June 2019, marking a watershed moment in last year's protests, Hong Kong's political crisis is heating up once again. The next three months in Hong Kong will see protests kick back into high gear as pro-Beijing and pro-democracy camps focus on winning Legislative Council elections planned for September. The central government in mainland China will fast-track its controversial national security laws ahead of the polls to increase control over protestors and politicians, while the regional Hong Kong government will work to fulfill its side of the legislation. The White House, meanwhile, will pressure China to ease back on its encroachment in Hong Kong by possibly stripping away the city's special tariff treatment, but will weigh carefully whether to escalate further to financial measures that would cripple Hong Kong's status as a business hub
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PodcastsJun 5, 2020 | 03:00 GMT
Pen and Sword: Yellow Bird with Sierra Crane Murdoch
This Pen and Sword podcast is about Lissa Yellow Bird -- a Native American investigator who took on her tribe, the legal system and her family to uncover truth and find justice. The book is Yellow Bird: Oil, Murder, and a Woman's Search for Justice in Indian Country and the author is Sierra Crane Murdoch.
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AssessmentsMay 6, 2020 | 10:00 GMT
An image displays rows of silicon wafers.
The U.S. Weaponizes COVID-19 Anger Against China’s Tech Sector
The United States and China have been locked in a technology cold war for several years. The COVID-19 pandemic, which originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan, is now pressuring Washington to make even stronger moves against Beijing by fueling anti-China sentiment among U.S. voters and legislators alike. But the White House’s latest attempt to increase export controls on China and limit Beijing's overall access to U.S. technology will come at the cost of further fragmenting the global tech sector’s highly integrated supply chain network. 
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On SecurityApr 14, 2020 | 11:00 GMT
When an Economic Crisis Collides With an Unprecedented Espionage Threat
I've seen a number of news reports discussing how the lockdowns and travel bans resulting from COVID-19 are hindering the ability of intelligence officers to do their jobs by preventing them from being able to conduct in-person source meets. The inability to conduct face-to-face source meets, and to make personal contact with recruitment targets to develop relationships with them, is a valid concern. I would like to suggest, however, that the economic crisis resulting from COVID-19 will also provide intelligence officers a golden opportunity to spot and recruit new agents.
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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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AssessmentsApr 3, 2020 | 16:36 GMT
A local business in Detroit, Michigan, closes shop following the state’s three-week “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order to slow the spread of COVID-19. As of April 2, Michigan had 10,791 confirmed cases of the virus, including 417 deaths.
The Piecemeal U.S. COVID-19 Response Portends a Long Recovery
As the COVID-19 crisis grips the United States, states and cities are leading the charge in the most significant containment measures, with the federal government playing a supporting role. This means that neither lockdown measures to contain the virus, nor the outbreak itself, will end on the federal government’s schedule. But Washington will still be held liable for helping bail out the growing number of citizens and states struggling to make ends meet in an indefinitely quarantined economy.
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AssessmentsMar 13, 2020 | 20:51 GMT
Ensuring Business Continuity in a World of COVID-19
Many companies are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic by reducing or banning corporate travel and by asking some or all of their employees to work from home. While having employees work from home will help reduce the transmission of the virus in the workplace, it also brings with it some additional risks, and we'd like to examine a few of them. As the disruptions from responses to COVID-19 mount, it is important to consider the second- and third-order impacts of the extreme efforts being put in place to curb the spread.
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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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AssessmentsMar 9, 2020 | 10:00 GMT
This picture taken on Feb. 22, 2020, shows the Palestinian West Bank village of Azmut, east of Nablus, with the Israeli settlement of Elon Moreh in the background.
How Israel's Annexation Strategy Will Prompt a Partnership Pivot
Over the next decade, Israel will pivot away from its close, pro-Western footing to a more independent one as its traditional allies pressure it to change its West Bank strategy. By the end of the 2020s, right-wing politics will gain the upper hand in Israel, expanding its annexationist trend in the Palestinian territories. But a territorially expanded Israel will not always find supportive allies in the United States and Europe, and its Western allies are likely to pressure Israel to reverse its West Bank strategy.
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