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Quarterly ForecastsSep 28, 2020 | 11:00 GMT
2020 Fourth-Quarter Forecast
The last quarter of 2020 will be a waiting game -- waiting for the results of the U.S. election in November, waiting on economic numbers, and waiting to see how the COVID-19 crisis plays out.
On GeopoliticsSep 25, 2020 | 10:00 GMT
A damaged EU flag is seen in Brenzone, Italy, on Aug. 14, 2019. 
The Quest for European Unity: No End of History
Europe faces a challenge of identity and international role over the next decade. For nearly 500 years, Europe sat at the center of the international system, its internal competitions rippling out across the globe. But the relative balance of global power and influence has shifted. And rather than being the driving force of global dynamics, Europe is increasingly caught between major powers: the United States and the Soviet Union during the Cold War, and now the United States and China. Internally, Europe still strives for the creation of a continental union, though those dreams have been eroded by financial crises, Brexit and a resurgence of nationalism in recent years. Externally, Europe remains fragmented in its foreign policy and prioritization. The shifting patterns of global competition will compel Europe to rethink its internal structures and to come to grips with defining its interests abroad. Otherwise, it will find itself drifting further
PodcastsSep 16, 2020 | 19:29 GMT
RANE Insights on COVID-19: Vaccines
In our ongoing podcast series about COVID-19, RANE founder David Lawrence catches up with Drs. Bill Lang and Fred Southwick about the latest vaccine news, ongoing pockets of virus outbreaks, and why they are happening and how vaccines work to build immunity.
SITUATION REPORTSep 3, 2020 | 21:44 GMT
U.S., China: Washington Imposes New Movement Restrictions on Chinese Diplomats
Senior Chinese diplomats in the United States will now be required to obtain prior approval from the U.S. State Department before visiting university campuses, staging cultural events of more than 50 people outside the embassy or consulates, or holding local government meetings, The Strait Times reported Sept. 2.
Regions & CountriesSeptember 1, 2020 | 16:36 GMT
El Salvador
El Salvador
The tiny country of El Salvador is typical of Central America's geographic challenges. Nestled south of Honduras, southeast of Guatemala and northwest of Nicaragua, El Salvador's landmass is small — even compared to its neighbors. Throughout most of its history, El Salvador was an agricultural society. The mountainous terrain and relative isolation from the rest of the world encouraged subsistence agriculture but very little profitable economic activity. Despite the growth of some industry, such as textile manufacturing, in the late 20th century, El Salvador remains a very underdeveloped country. This underdevelopment fostered stark political divisions in the country's society. Abroad, El Salvador is perhaps best known for a 13-year civil war between communist-backed forces and the U.S.-backed government. The war ended in 1992, but the country remains politically split along economic class lines and between the left and right. The main political parties in the country are those organized around members of the now-disbanded leftist guerrilla movement and the right-leaning government. Illegal migration and violent crime remain the principal concern in El Salvador for the United States. El Salvador is simply too small and too resource-poor to sustain its population. Explosive population growth in the mid-20th century, endemic poverty and civil war caused mass migration abroad. More than a million Salvadorans fled the country, mostly to the United States. After the conflict, violent crime — mainly in the form of criminal gangs such as MS-13 and Barrio 18, and their numerous cliques across the country — compounded the migration problem. To this day, remittances from Salvadorans living in the United States are one of the main sources of foreign income for the country's economy. For the United States, neither of the security concerns from El Salvador are first-tier foreign policy priorities. Instead, they are persistent issues that some administrations choose to take more seriously than others.
SITUATION REPORTAug 19, 2020 | 17:37 GMT
U.S., China: American Universities Warned to Divest From Chinese Firms Listed on U.S. Exchanges
The U.S. Department of State issued a letter warning U.S. universities to divest their endowments from Chinese companies listed on U.S. exchanges, and that a “wholesale de-listing" of Chinese firms from the United States by the end of 2021 would be a "likely outcome" of Washington’s stepped-up standards, Bloomberg reported Aug. 18. 
PodcastsAug 4, 2020 | 21:10 GMT
RANE Insights: Dealing With Megadisasters and Multifaceted Crises Part II
In the second of two podcasts on disaster preparedness, RANE Founder David Lawrence sits down with Jeff Schlegelmilch, director of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness at Columbia University's Earth Institute and author of "Rethinking Readiness: a Brief Guide to Twenty-First-Century Megadisasters."
SnapshotsJul 31, 2020 | 16:39 GMT
A Year-Long Election Delay Extends Hong Kong’s Political Crisis
The one-year delay of the Hong Kong election appears to be an attempt to exhaust the opposition pro-democracy camp, though it may instead serve as a rallying point domestically and internationally. Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam announced July 31 that the Legislative Council elections would be delayed by a year, to Sept. 5, 2021, citing the COVID-19 pandemic and her prerogative under the Emergency Regulation Ordinance. The delay, however, was more likely a desperate move by Lam and her pro-Beijing camp, who was facing the real possibility of a much larger win for the pro-democracy camp. As such, the move may embolden the opposition to keep up pressure through international contact and domestic resistance -- whether via organized rallies and protests, or in the Legislative Council before its current term ends Sept. 30. 
On GeopoliticsJul 30, 2020 | 10:00 GMT
A display shows the national flags of China and the United States at the Group of 20 (G-20) Summit in Osaka, Japan, on June 29, 2019.
The U.S.-China Ideological Divide and the Challenge of Cohesion
A series of foreign policy speeches by key officials in U.S. President Donald Trump's administration has sought to redefine the U.S.-China strategic competition as one based on conflicting core ideologies between those of the Chinese Communist Party and those of the free world. But to be effective, the United States needs to revive domestic unity and engender global cooperation, while China only needs to maintain domestic unity and exploit global divisions. 
AssessmentsJul 21, 2020 | 09:30 GMT
A rally in support of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on June 11, 2020, at Umayyad Square in Damascus, Syria.
In Syria, COVID-19 and Economic Woes Will Dampen Damascus' Ambitions
Economic and health crises have undercut Damascus' appetite for new major military offensives by creating dissent in previously secure territory. This suggests the al Assad government will attempt to consolidate power within loyalist territories before renewing efforts to eliminate Turkish and American influence.
SnapshotsJul 16, 2020 | 21:07 GMT
China's Economy Is Growing Again, Sort Of
Further scrutiny of China's 3.2 percent GDP growth in the second quarter of 2020 still shows uneven, slow healing from the COVID-19 crisis that leaves the Chinese economy vulnerable to setbacks and shocks, even as the headline number suggests a slight recovery from the country's deep dip earlier this year. Risks in the second half of the year include a renewed virus outbreak, residual Chinese consumer caution and weak business investment in manufacturing plants and equipment, shaky global demand for Chinese exports, heightening tensions with the United States, and severe flooding currently in much of the country.
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