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SITUATION REPORTOct 9, 2020 | 21:08 GMT
U.S.: Possible Xilinx Acquisition by AMD Points to More Consolidation in Semiconductor Industry
In another potential move that could continue to reshape the semiconductor industry -- and draw regulatory scrutiny in China -- Santa Clara-based Advanced Micro Devices is in talks to buy San Jose-based Xilinx in a deal that could reach $30 billion, The Wall Street Journal reported Oct. 9. Its sources said a deal could be finalized as early as next week.
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PodcastsSep 9, 2020 | 10:00 GMT
RANE Insights: Preventing the Downside of Content Sharing
In this podcast, RANE's Emily Donahue interviews Michael Calev, Director of Strategy and Marketing at Perception Point, where he analyzes the cybersecurity industry and market trends. They discuss how remote work creates more potential for content-based cyberattacks, and how to prevent data breaches rather than wait for detection.
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AssessmentsAug 17, 2020 | 10:00 GMT
Steam and exhaust rise from a chemical company's coking plant in Oberhausen, Germany, on Jan. 6, 2017.
What the EU Green Deal Means For Governments and Companies
The European Union will increase pressure on private and public companies to reduce their carbon emissions in the coming years, and will also make significant funds available to help member states transition to cleaner energy. The actual implementation of the ambitious policies laid out in Brussels' Green Deal, however, will be slow and uneven due to the bloc's current pandemic-induced economic crisis, insufficient funding, internal political divisions, and limited access to the technologies needed to create more eco-friendly European economies. 
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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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SnapshotsJun 2, 2020 | 14:41 GMT
OPEC+ Moves Toward Early Meeting to Discuss Extending Production Cuts
OPEC+ appears headed for an earlier-than-expected online ministerial meeting on June 4 to discuss how to extend oil production cuts for the rest of the year, given the faster-than-expected recovery in oil prices. During the meeting, members will reportedly consider a Saudi-Russian compromise on a very brief 1-2 month delay in the tapering of current headline cuts from 9.7 million barrels per day (bpd) to 7.7 million bpd. The original limitation of having the deepest production cuts last until only May and June was, in part, based on the intense uncertainty about how much demand destruction would actually occur due to the COVID-19 crisis. But it now appears that the flood in inventories has been less than expected, which has already driven Brent crude prices back into the upper $30s. 
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On GeopoliticsMay 26, 2020 | 22:06 GMT
Protesters fleeing tear gas during a general strike in Hong Kong in August 2019.
What the End of One Country, Two Systems Means for Hong Kong, Taiwan and the World
Beijing's decision to impose a long-delayed security law on Hong Kong reflects the mainland’s growing concern with challenges to national unity ahead of next year's 100th anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party. But it is more immediately driven by the rising violence in Hong Kong and the political evolution in Taiwan. Despite international criticism, China will strengthen efforts to fully integrate Hong Kong and to further isolate Taiwan internationally.
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AssessmentsMay 25, 2020 | 12:48 GMT
Remembering America's Allies on Memorial Day
Remembering America's Allies on Memorial Day
This year on Memorial Day, Stratfor would like to consider the countless individuals from across the globe who have worked and fought alongside the U.S. military, with this reflection originally penned in 2016. Memorial Day in the United States is dedicated to remembering the men and women who served and who died in service to country and mission. Yet these dedicated personnel are not alone; they are assisted by other foreign nations and by the security forces and civilian residents of the country in which the U.S. military is operating. Many brave individuals continue to partner with the United States and its allies. Many have returned to their normal lives in some semblance of peace. Some have left their homeland through choice or coercion, and still more have laid down their lives in pursuit of a better tomorrow.
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On SecurityMay 19, 2020 | 10:00 GMT
An image of the Islamic State flag overlays a map of Iraq.
Rumblings of an Islamic State Resurgence in Iraq
The Islamic State may have faded from international headlines, but the group remains a potent threat capable of returning with force in its core territory. Since beginning its initial resurgence in Iraq during 2011, the Islamic State has morphed from a local insurgent group to a global movement, with branches that have continued to launch attacks in areas ranging from West Africa to Afghanistan. And without sustained pressure from its adversaries, including the United States and Iraq, the group is well-positioned to continue its resurgence in its core territory -- a development with potentially grave global consequences.
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AssessmentsMay 12, 2020 | 10:00 GMT
An image of a gas flare at the Mozyr Oil Refinery in Belarus on Jan. 4, 2020. Russia recently resumed its oil deliveries to Belarus after a pricing dispute prompted Moscow to halt its supplies at the beginning of the year.
By Diversifying Its Oil Imports, Belarus Limits Russia’s Leverage
In recent months, Russia has weaponized its discounted oil deliveries to coerce Belarus into accepting a level of economic and political integration that would essentially guarantee its loyalty. This strategy, however, has only emboldened Minsk’s push to diversify its oil imports. But Belarus’ continued dependence on Russia’s close trade ties and natural gas exports will still leave Moscow armed with other sources of leverage to wield over its smaller neighbor in future negotiations.
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AssessmentsApr 28, 2020 | 16:58 GMT
The Kremlin.
The Russian Regime Accelerates Its 'Management' of Democracy
Though democratic processes are codified by law in Russia, government limitations on opposition activity and efforts to control nearly every aspect of political life have rendered elections largely a formality. Without an opposition able to operate effectively, the Kremlin enjoys carte blanche to define policy and maintain power. For nearly two decades, the United Russia party has dominated Russian politics as an instrument of President Vladimir Putin's control. The system known in Russia as "managed democracy," under which opposition activity is heavily suppressed, has made this possible. Taking control of the media narrative plus creating new parties to draw away votes from the opposition will be key to Putins ability to retain power.
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On SecurityApr 23, 2020 | 11:00 GMT
Shoppers wearing face masks amid concerns over the COVID-19 novel coronavirus outbreak in a market in Seoul, South Korea, on March 14, 2020.
Learning How to Reopen a Country After COVID-19 Shutdowns
As governments around the world explore ways to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, easing the economic pain caused by lockdowns without causing even more damaging public health crises, they will be looking at the experience of other early outbreak countries to guide their actions. While best practices are emerging, recovery strategies will be tailored to the vulnerabilities of specific populations, and to governments' current capabilities. Whether the lessons of South Korea can be applied in the West remains to be seen.
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AssessmentsApr 21, 2020 | 18:46 GMT
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un waves from his car after arriving in Vietnam on Feb. 26, 2019.
In North Korea, Kim's Rumored Ill-Health Renews Succession Fears
Recent reports of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's failing health have once again raised concerns around succession and regime stability, particularly as he has no children old enough to succeed him. Kim, however, has gone missing in the past, and there are few other signs of a brewing political or social crisis in North Korea that would indicate an imminent end to his reign. Indeed, in the coming days or weeks, he may again be spotted watching rocket launches through his binoculars, or visiting a construction or factory site to show his care for the people. But it is nonetheless still important to review succession scenarios due to the outsized risks of such a political transition in Pyongyang. 
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GuidanceApr 14, 2020 | 17:21 GMT
A horse grazes near oil pumpjacks outside the Russian city of Surgut on March 10, 2020.
OPEC+ Has Agreed to a Historic Production Cut. But Is It Enough?
OPEC+ recently approved the largest-ever coordinated production cut to offset declining global demand due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While the agreement is unlikely to thwart further price declines in the coming months, the current alignment of interests among the world’s top oil producers means the deal will probably remain in place through the end of the year. But as the market begins to recover, adherence into 2021 will start to wane. 
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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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