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SnapshotsFeb 25, 2020 | 22:07 GMT
Saudi Arabia Arms Its Vision 2030 With an Investment Ministry
On Feb. 25, Saudi Arabia's King Salman issued eight royal orders designed to jump-start the country's Vision 2030 program after nearly four years of mixed results. The most notable of these orders included converting the General Investment Authority into a full Ministry of Investment and creating tourism and sports ministries. The former energy minister and Saudi Aramco CEO, Khalid al-Falih, will serve as the first investment minister. Al-Falih's appointment may indicate that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman realizes the greater pitfalls of chasing such big, high-profile announcements. It will thus be important to track whether Saudi Arabia starts winding down its pursuit of megaprojects at home and abroad, including the country's large investments into companies such as Uber and Tesla, which have been criticized as having more to do with prestige than profit.
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AssessmentsNov 21, 2019 | 10:00 GMT
During the latest protests, the government of Iran has shut off access to the internet in most of the country.
The Growing Power and Threat of Government-Imposed Internet Blackouts
Amid the recent bout of nationwide protests in Iran, government-enforced blackouts have taken more than 90 percent of the country's internet offline and blocked most Iranians from communicating with the outside world. The move has drawn substantial international media attention, and #Internet4Iran has been a worldwide trending topic on Twitter. Tehran blocked the internet during protests in late 2017 and early 2018, but the scale of the current blackouts is unprecedented in Iran. Governments are likely to continue to use internet blackouts for the foreseeable future, especially as they gain more control over internet and mobile networks.
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Contributor PerspectivesAug 21, 2019 | 19:28 GMT
A visual representation of bitcoin on display on April 3, 2019, in Paris.
The Future of Cryptocurrencies
More than 10 years since the first bitcoin transaction in January 2009, and almost two years since a speculative spike pushed the price per bitcoin to almost $20,000, cryptocurrencies are moving beyond cypherpunks and anti-government culture into the world of governments and traditional institutions. The transition is impossible to ignore. While some governments, central banks and financial companies see cryptocurrencies as a threat, others want to harness the advantages they offer. And some governments see cryptocurrencies as a way to save their own struggling economies. To understand whether nonsovereign currencies can serve as a default currency and what threat they pose to governments or how beneficial they might become, it's useful to examine some of the most interesting geopolitical and corporate use cases available.
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Partner PerspectivesAug 16, 2019 | 10:00 GMT
Beyond 5G networks like the one Huawei is helping build in Cambodia with partner Smart Axiata, Chinese companies are aggressively building cloud computing and ecommerce businesses to serve markets in Southeast Asia.
Follow the Digital Silk Road
China’s tech prowess offers business opportunities – but also security concerns – for Southeast Asian nations. So how will the United States respond?
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AssessmentsMay 20, 2019 | 10:00 GMT
Sudanese celebrate an agreement on a civilian-majority legislative body following the removal of authoritarian leader Omar al Bashir in April 2019. The body will be in power for the next three years, after which, elections will be held to allow citizens to decide on its next composition.
After Decades in the Dark, Sudan May Soon Be Open for Business
Following President Omar al Bashir's ousting, a transitional civil-military council has brought hope for the many Sudanese who've suffered from the country's deteriorating economy and global isolation over the past 30 years. While negotiations over what the country's transitional government will look like have been rife with debate, there are now signs Khartoum could be inching toward a civilian-led government. Such fundamental political change could eventually prompt the United States to take Sudan off its terrorism list, which could allow the country to capitalize more on its strategic advantages -- including its fertile land, location on the Red Sea and large population -- by lifting a key longtime hurdle for business engagement. Indeed, if done right, the long-abandoned nation has the potential to be Africa's next economic success story -- representing a new zone of untapped opportunity for adventurous investors and businesses alike. But much of that prosperity will depend
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Contributor PerspectivesApr 17, 2019 | 16:22 GMT
Craig Stephen Hicks is shown here in court on Feb. 11, 2015, the day after authorities say he fatally shot three Muslim college students in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
The Danger of Judging by Appearance and the Power of Reaching Out
They call themselves the OWGs, Old White Guys. The oldest is 78, the youngest 65. Their profile fits the pundits' picture of Trump voters: white, Christian and born before the Vietnam War. Their home is Raleigh, North Carolina, in the old Confederacy, which allegedly breeds bigots. But these white senior citizens are doing more than the police or social services to oppose the bigotry that breeds violence between races and religions. It started with three murders on their doorstep.
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On SecurityNov 13, 2018 | 10:00 GMT
An employee of Cathay Pacific Airways helps a customer at Hong Kong's international airport on Aug. 7, 2018.
Fines and Lawsuits Are Adding to the Cost of Corporate Data Breaches
Hackers around the world are constantly probing for network vulnerabilities and seem to score a major cyberattack almost weekly. In the past three weeks alone, HSBC Bank of London reported that its U.S.-based accounts were illegally accessed; hackers compromised an Australian military shipbuilder's personnel files; and Hong Kong airline Cathay Pacific confirmed a breach that affected up to 9.4 million passengers. These criminal and state-backed groups are trying to get personal information such as names, phone numbers, addresses, Social Security numbers, and credit card and banking information. They can sell that data to others who exploit it for financial gain, or use it for more targeted attacks – a national security, as well as a corporate, concern. Now governments in Europe and North America are pushing companies harder to shore up their defenses and fining those that are lax. On top of that, those that lose customers' information are increasingly
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On GeopoliticsNov 8, 2018 | 12:00 GMT
People take part in a candlelight vigil to remember journalist Jamal Khashoggi outside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 25, 2018.
When Human Rights Become a Handicap to U.S. Foreign Policy
In May 2017 speech in Saudi Arabia, U.S. President Donald Trump said the United States was looking for "partners, not perfection." And perhaps no one was listening more intently to that message than an excitable young Saudi prince, Mohammed bin Salman, who was merely days away from kicking his older cousin out of the line of succession while preparing to take the reins of the kingdom.
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On GeopoliticsApr 12, 2018 | 23:07 GMT
The logo for Apple Inc. adorns a storefront in the Belgian capital.
A Test of Europe's Artificial Intelligence
As a tech war shapes up between China and the United States, European powers fear they may get left out. French President Emmanuel Macron recently unveiled an ambitious plan for France -- and the European Union as a whole -- to develop an artificial intelligence ecosystem that could compete with those of China and the United States. Germany, meanwhile, worries that the wave of U.S. and Chinese tech innovation will wash away its critical automotive and industrial robotics sectors. To prevent that outcome, the country has been pushing for more AI development; in fact, Industry 4.0 -- a movement to bring emerging information technology innovations to the manufacturing industry -- is a German concept. The seemingly unstoppable rise of tech giants in the United States and China has forced entrepreneurs and leaders in Europe to react. But solutions such as Industry 4.0 and Macron's initiative won't be enough to bring
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SnapshotsMar 20, 2018 | 19:14 GMT
U.S.: How a Fatal Crash Creates a Speed Bump for Autonomous Cars
An accident in Arizona is causing Uber to tap the breaks on testing its self-driving cars. In the first known pedestrian fatality involving an autonomous vehicle, a car from Uber's self-driving test program struck and killed a pedestrian in Tempe on March 19. As a result, Uber has suspended all testing operations in the United States for their autonomous vehicle program. The Tempe Police Department has stated that initial findings do not indicate the vehicle was responsible for the crash, but the event could still impede the technology's path to widespread adoption. As autonomous vehicle technology continues to be developed, bumps in the road have the potential to alter the behavior of regulators and developers -- as well as public opinion.
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ReflectionsJun 21, 2017 | 16:54 GMT
The Saudi Aramco IPO, which is expected to bring in between $25 billion and $100 billion, is the financial engine that will help power Saudi Arabia's economic reform.
Saudi Arabia Polishes Its Crown Jewel
The most critical component of the economic reform program that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is spearheading is the move to put 5 percent of state-owned oil company Saudi Arabian Oil Co., or Saudi Aramco, up for an initial public offering. The sale, expected to bring in between $25 billion and $100 billion, will be the financial engine that helps power the country's economic reform. The money it generates will go into the Saudi Public Investment Fund, , which will be used to pay for the country's strategic investments domestically and abroad, underpinning its economic reform, diversification and transformation initiatives.
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