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AssessmentsFeb 26, 2020 | 10:00 GMT
This photo shows fanned-out 50, 100, 200 and 500 banknotes of the euro, the currency of the eurozone.
The Eurozone Braces for a Rocky Year
Households, companies and investors alike should brace for a year of lackluster economic growth in the eurozone. The European Commission expects the 19-member currency area to grow by only 1.2 percent this year -- the same rate as 2019, but below the 1.9 percent and 2.5 percent growth seen in 2018 and 2017, respectively. While uncertainty about the future of global trade has taken a toll on Europe's economic climate and manufacturing sector, domestic consumption has nonetheless remained strong due to rising employment and modest increases in wages. The next few months, however, will present multiple sources of geopolitical risk that will continue to stall economic expansion across the eurozone, and could potentially lead to temporary recessions in countries such as Italy.
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On SecurityJun 11, 2019 | 10:00 GMT
Crime scene experts from the FBI remove evidence from a black SUV on the day after a mass shooting at the Virginia Beach Municipal Center on June 1, 2019.
Lessons from a Workplace Shooting in Virginia Beach
The Friday afternoon was passing normally for employees at Virginia Beach's municipal complex. As 4 p.m. rolled around on May 31, most were undoubtedly thinking about their plans for the upcoming weekend. Their peaceful afternoon, however, was soon shattered by an all-too-common occurrence: a workplace shooting. In a massacre that would ultimately kill 12 and injure four more, an engineer who had worked for the city for 15 years killed a contractor outside before entering building two and gunning down co-workers on three different floors. Once more, the attack highlights the threats posed by workplace violence and mass public attacks. And as in past shootings, the Virginia Beach massacre offers several lessons to all -- whether it's putting distance between oneself and a shooter, recognizing warning signs like behavioral changes or more -- that can help anyone avoid becoming a victim of such an incident.
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AssessmentsMar 25, 2019 | 09:30 GMT
Miners walk near a mine shaft at Manzou Farm, owned by Grace Mugabe, wife of former Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, in Mazowe, Zimbabwe, on April 5, 2018.
Zimbabwe's Mining Sector Is Moving in a Pro-Business Direction
Zimbabwe's mining sector is critical to the country's economy. Reserves of gold, platinum group metals and diamonds combine to form Zimbabwe's largest export -- and thus its primary source of foreign currency. This sector has become even more important recently due to Zimbabwe's systemically failing economy. The country is struggling to maintain sufficient foreign currency reserves, while also desperately requiring investment and expansion to compete. Stringent regulations have discouraged many potential investors from pursuing opportunities in Zimbabwe's mining industry in the past. But President Emmerson Mnangagwa has begun making decisions to spur foreign direct investment in the mining industry, likely spelling a long-term shift to more pro-business policies within the Zimbabwean government.
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On GeopoliticsJan 10, 2019 | 10:00 GMT
Members of the European Parliament vote during a plenary session at the European Parliament on Dec. 11, 2018, in Strasbourg.
Europe's Four Big Challenges in 2019
2019 is just over a week old, but it's already shaping up to be a busy one for Europe, which has a long to-do list to address as it grapples with political turbulence, slowing economic growth and tense relations with the world's superpowers. European leaders will contend with a host of issues, including Germany's unstable political coalition, the staying power of populism, Italy's economic woes, and concerns about China and Russia's looming presence over the European Union. Here are four trends that will shape Europe's political, economic and social agenda this year.
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TopicsDecember 13, 2018 | 20:34 GMT
From the early adoption of wood, wind and water to the more recent adoption of hydrocarbons, societies constantly found new and innovative ways to power their ways of life.
Energy
The history of energy is marked by motion. From the early adoption of wood, wind and water to the more recent adoption of hydrocarbons, societies constantly found new and innovative means to power their ways of life. The future of energy will be no less innovative as renewable energy, storage technologies, nuclear power, efficiency technologies and smart grids become cheaper and more cost-effective. These technologies will not replace hydrocarbons entirely — no more so than hydrocarbons have entirely replaced water — but they will temper the political and economic influence hydrocarbons producers currently have.
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Contributor PerspectivesDec 5, 2018 | 09:15 GMT
Some recommended titles for your geopolitics of sports library.
The 2018 Gift Guide for the Geopolitically Curious Sports Fan
It's the first week of December, which means that my fellow Americans and I have been inundated with holiday jingles and gifting imperatives for (at least) the past fortnight. It also means that it's time for the second annual edition of "Gifts for the Geopolitically Curious Sports Fan," which is quickly becoming one of my favorite seasonal traditions. In the inaugural edition, I selected books (and a few films) that might serve as the foundation of a sport and geopolitics library. This year's recommendations include some more recent titles to add to your collection.
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On GeopoliticsNov 1, 2018 | 09:00 GMT
A sign of the World Trade Organization (WTO) is seen at the body's headquarters in Geneva on Sept. 21.
Trump and the WTO's Uncertain Future
U.S. President Donald Trump has his guns trained on China today, but a bigger war is brewing at the World Trade Organization -- where the future of the global trade system is at stake. For the past two years, the United States has blocked new appointments to the WTO's Appellate Body, the organization's de facto supreme court over trade disputes. And unless new appointments are made by Dec. 10, 2019, the body's membership will fall below the number needed to rule on cases. In effect, the United States is threatening to sideline the WTO's crowning achievement -- a strong dispute-resolution mechanism -- giving the rest of the world just one year to offer concessions on reform to the United States, to seek other options or to face a world where the mechanism disintegrates. With the ascendance of a new global power -- China -- the Trump administration may have already decided
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Contributor PerspectivesOct 15, 2018 | 09:00 GMT
This photo shows a Chinese tourist photographing the derelict golf course at the shuttered Mount Kumgang resort in North Korea.
The 'Fairway Theory of History' Appears to Hit the Mark
Beyond its value as entertainment and exercise, golf can provide geopolitical insight, at least according to a theory advanced by Richard Haass, the long-serving president of the venerable Council on Foreign Relations. In an article titled "What Golf Teaches Us About Geopolitics" and published in Newsweek magazine in September 2009, Haass argued that the links game offered a useful lens through which to think about the world. His thesis was that a country's relationship with the game to a large degree matched the degree of its economic and political openness. Growth in the former, he asserted, usually occurred alongside growth in the latter; and the reverse was also true. As for what lay behind this relationship, Haass wrote: "It is not just that the game tends to flourish in countries that welcome tourists, who can bring new ideas along with their bags of clubs. Large numbers of golf courses reflect
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ReflectionsAug 20, 2018 | 18:46 GMT
A man walks past closed shops in the center of the Greek city of Thessaloniki on June 21, 2018.
The Greek Financial Crisis May Be Over, but Greece, and the Eurozone, Will Never Be the Same
In recent years, any discussion about Greece has demanded acknowledgement of the deep financial, economic, political and social crisis that has afflicted the country since the late 2000s. And that makes Aug. 20 a bittersweet day, as it marks the end of Greece's third consecutive rescue program since 2010 and, in a way, the formal end of the Greek crisis. It took eight years, more than 300 billion euros in international loans and six prime ministers for Greece to reach this moment. Now the two biggest questions are: Was it worth it? And is Greece really out of the woods?
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AssessmentsAug 1, 2018 | 09:00 GMT
An illustration shows the copper atom.
Copper: A Relative Constant in a Changing World
Copper was one of the first metals tamed by the human race; people were using it for decorative objects, tools and weapons as early as 4500 B.C. in Mesopotamia. In modern society, the element is necessary for construction materials, electricity transmission and transportation. That means it can serve as a fairly reliable gauge of economic growth, with demand indicating how much effort a country or region is putting into industrialization and urbanization.
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SnapshotsJul 16, 2018 | 17:23 GMT
Global: Consultancy Projects Oil Demand Will Peak in 2036
Recognition is growing, even among major oil companies, that the world is in the midst of an energy transition. Even so, Wood Mackenzie's timeline is more aggressive than many previous projections, highlighting several technologies that are working, perhaps faster than first predicted, to change global oil use. Improved fuel efficiency, proliferating eletric vehicles, and enhanced automation will all play important roles in reducing the world's dependence on oil in the transportation sector. In the process, they will force companies and countries alike to adapt their strategies and goals.
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AssessmentsJul 16, 2018 | 09:00 GMT
Paramilitaries surround the San Sebastian Basilica in Diriamba, Nicaragua, on July 9, 2018.
Nicaragua's Wave of Protests Is Ending -- For Now
Three months after unrest began convulsing the country, Nicaragua’s government is slowly re-establishing control over the Central American nation. Though the government’s offensives will likely impose a relative calm, the prospect of renewed demonstrations will never be far away. President Daniel Ortega will be well aware that any serious unrest would do further damage to the economy -- thereby exposing rifts within the ruling Sandinista National Liberation Front that could ultimately spell an end to his rule.
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Contributor PerspectivesJul 11, 2018 | 10:00 GMT
A container ship pulls into Djibouti's Doraleh Port in 2015.
How Development Finance Is Changing Geopolitics
Development finance has undergone a shift. Though traditional aid flows once dominated the sector, foreign direct investment (FDI) is now by far the leading source of development finance in most of the world's emerging states. At the same time, competition for influence in these countries is heating up, led by China's massive investments in infrastructure projects in Asia, Europe, Africa and the Middle East. The race in development finance is already altering the balance of global geopolitics and will have major economic, military and political repercussions.
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AssessmentsJun 27, 2018 | 09:00 GMT
The Villanueva plant in Mexico is the size of 40 football fields, making it the largest solar plant in the Americas.
How Renewable Energy Will Change Geopolitics
It will take decades for the transition to renewable energy to play out, and it may never phase out fossil fuels completely. Natural gas, for instance, will be important even late in the century. But with each passing prediction cycle, forecasters are more optimistic about how much global energy will come from renewable sources and how quickly. The rate of consumption for renewable energy is currently growing three times faster than the overall demand for energy. A world in which renewable sources account for, say, one-third of the total energy consumed is now entirely plausible, even likely, within the next two or three decades. The shift is already underway, and it will be no less transformative than the transitions from wood to coal and from coal to oil before it.
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