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SITUATION REPORTNov 30, 2020 | 19:19 GMT
U.S., China: Washington to Label SMIC, CNOOC as Chinese Military Companies 
The United States is reportedly planning to add China’s Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (SMIC) and China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) to a list of companies controlled or owned by the Chinese intelligence and military apparatus, which would ban both SMIC and CNOOC from receiving U.S. investment per a recent executive order signed by U.S. President Donald Trump, Reuters reported Nov. 29. 
AssessmentsNov 27, 2020 | 17:44 GMT
IAEA inspectors (2nd, 3rd L) and Iranian technicians disconnect the connections between the twin cascades for 20 percent uranium production at nuclear power plant of Natanz, Iran, on Jan., 20, 2014.
Fallout From the Killing of a High-Level Iranian Nuclear Scientist
The assassination of Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh will not materially impact Iran's nuclear program, but the killing is a sign that the United States and Israel are accelerating their covert strategy against Iran in the waning days of the Trump administration. Iran will respond in some form, although it will probably refrain from a hasty response that could transform the covert war with Israel and the United States on Iranian soil into an overt one.
AssessmentsNov 25, 2020 | 20:39 GMT
The OPEC logo is seen at the group’s headquarters in Vienna, Austria, on May 24, 2017.
OPEC+ Production Cuts Meet Another COVID-19 Reality Check
During its next meeting, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies will likely agree to roll over their current oil production cuts through the first quarter of 2021. But in the second half of next year, the opposing priorities of its OPEC+ members will increase pressure to either change the structure of the cuts or accelerate their removal, leaving the global oil market oversupplied and oil prices relatively low for longer. OPEC is scheduled to hold a meeting to discuss production quotas on Nov. 30, while the broader OPEC+ block, which includes Russia, will meet on Dec. 1. The meetings, which were scheduled months ago, come as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to hammer the oil market.
SnapshotsNov 25, 2020 | 16:36 GMT
A pedestrian wearing a face mask walks past Christmas-themed window displays inside Burlington Arcade in London, the United Kingdom, on Nov. 23, 2020.
Can Europe Save the Holidays From COVID-19?
European governments will soften some lockdown measures for the holiday season to boost domestic consumption and reduce the probability of social unrest. Their plans to start distributing COVID-19 vaccines in early 2021, meanwhile, will face significant logistical obstacles. The reintroduction of lockdown and social distancing measures in Europe in October and November has had a negative impact on economic activity, increasing the probability of countries once more falling into recessions. Governments across the Continent hope that a softening of these measures during the holiday season will lead to stronger economic activity. They also fear that banning people from meeting during the holidays will spur more social unrest. 
On SecurityNov 25, 2020 | 10:00 GMT
Emergency personnel on Oct. 31, 2020, in Lyon, France, at the scene of an attack on a Greek Orthodox priest.
How Satirical Cartoons Have Become a Flashpoint for Violence in Europe and Abroad
Recent attacks and unrest in Europe and across the Muslim world are part of a pattern of violence associated with the Mohamed cartoon controversy that has recently flared up due to an ongoing trial in Paris. Attacks in September and early October focused on individuals and symbols directly linked to the cartoons, but the target set expanded as initial attacks spawned more violence, along with apparent retaliation to the initial attacks. In Europe, the return of the cartoon controversy comes amid rising concerns over Islamophobia and associated attacks. Verdicts in the trial that began the latest chapter of the controversy are expected in December, potentially providing motivation for even more attacks. The continual reemergence of the Mohammed cartoon controversy suggests that this issue will remain an issue that motivates violence for years to come.
SnapshotsNov 23, 2020 | 23:20 GMT
Lawmakers in Ukraine’s parliament vote on a banking reform bill aimed at unlocking financial support from the International Monetary Fund on May 13, 2020, in Kyiv, Ukraine.
Ukraine Tries to Put Its IMF Program Back on Track
Ukraine is poised to get its nascent program of economic reforms back up and running in order to regain key financial support from the International Monetary Fund (IMF). By signaling to others that the country is a worthwhile investment, the move will also help Kyiv raise sufficient external funds in the coming year to better manage its external debt. IMF negotiators are tentatively expected to take place in Kyiv in December following conversations between President Volodymyr Zelensky, National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) Governor Kyrylo Shevchenko and IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva. Given the current conditions of the COVID-19 pandemic, IMF staff would have unlikely chosen to travel without a high chance of success.
SITUATION REPORTNov 20, 2020 | 21:39 GMT
Ethiopia: Government Cracks Down on Foreign Media Covering Tigray Conflict
The Ethiopian Broadcasting Authority (EBA) has suspended the press license of Reuters correspondent Giulia Paravicini because of her "false and biased" reporting on the government’s military offensive in the Tigray region, Al-Ahram reported Nov. 20. The EBA also reportedly issued warning letters to correspondents from the BBC and Deutsche Welle for similar reasons.
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