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AssessmentsJan 6, 2021 | 19:01 GMT
Peruvians wearing masks to protect themselves from COVID-19 wait outside a bank to collect government aid bonuses in Iquitos, Peru, on June 15, 2020.
Peru's Economy Gets a Wake-Up Call. Will Its Leaders Listen?
Peru is a rare emerging market country that has time to address long-term issues without putting immediate growth at risk -- but only if it takes advantage of that grace period to act. Peru’s primary economic headwinds include reduced growth momentum, with concerns about the country’s long-term financial prospects and political stalemates delaying crucial economic reforms. Such headwinds could hamper fiscal deficit reduction if Peru cannot legislate tax increases or resist spending pressure. In addition, global GDP growth will determine the demand for commodities and metals prices.
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SITUATION REPORTNov 18, 2020 | 22:15 GMT
Syria: Israel Conducts Retaliatory Airstrikes Against Iranian Targets Near Damascus 
Israel announced that it conducted a series of airstrikes against Iranian-linked targets outside of the Syrian city of Damascus in what it claimed was retaliation for an attempted bomb planting operation along the Golan Heights earlier this month, the Times of Israel reported Nov. 18.  
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AssessmentsNov 13, 2020 | 19:22 GMT
Demonstrators participate in a "March for Freedom" protest in London, the United Kingdom, on Oct. 17, 2020.
Growing COVID-19 Infections in Europe Will Contribute to Greater Social Unrest
As countries across Europe introduce tighter restrictions in response to increasing COVID-19 cases and deaths, social unrest and protests against the measures are increasing, too. This is not the first time we've seen violent protests in response to European COVID-19 policies, but this time around they have been more intense and widespread. Throughout the summer and early fall, periodic protest activity in major European cities led to arrests or clashes with police. In May, Paris police arrested protesters in the central Place de Republique while London's Metropolitan police clashed with protesters in Trafalgar Square in September. The hardships caused by COVID-19 and the associated restrictions, as well as sympathetic Black Lives Matter protests in early summer, led to elevated protest activity across Europe this year. At no other point this year, however, has protest activity been so intense across such a broad swath of the Continent over such a short
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SnapshotsNov 9, 2020 | 20:20 GMT
A view of a gas flare in Kirkuk, the oil-rich city in northern Iraq.
Attacks Could Leave Iraq's PKK With More Enemies and Less Ground
Intra-Kurdish clashes in northern Iraq could lead to additional attacks against nearby oil infrastructure, as the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) retaliates against attempts by Iraqi and Turkish forces to reduce the group’s presence and activity in the resource-rich region. On Nov. 4, PKK militants attacked a convoy of Kurdish peshmerga forces in the Chamanke area of Iraq's Dohuk province, resulting in one death and two other injuries. There were also two reported PKK attacks on the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG)'s oil and gas police in Dohuk, wounding policemen protecting petroleum facilities. 
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AssessmentsOct 23, 2020 | 18:21 GMT
Fans of the Saudi national football team cheer during a match against Qatar at the King Fahad International Stadium in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on Nov. 26, 2014.
Budget Cuts Will Test Saudis’ Loyalty to Their Government
New survey data suggests that Saudi Arabia’s citizens remain politically aligned with and supportive of the government, though that support may quickly dissipate as Riyadh makes difficult decisions on economic restructuring. The Arab Opinion Index, a survey compiled by the Doha Institute in Qatar, gives rare insight into regional social and political trends in the Middle East. For Saudi Arabia, the latest survey findings reveal a population largely content with their economic and political situations. Saudis’ economic well-being, however, will be undercut as pandemic-related losses of oil revenue and the arrival of peak oil demand force their government to make deeper cuts to crucial social programs, creating pockets of unrest across the kingdom.
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SnapshotsOct 21, 2020 | 22:02 GMT
Policemen walk near an overlook at the Giza Pyramids in Egypt ahead of a ceremony commemorating the launch of the site's first environmentally-friendly bus and restaurant on Oct. 20, 2020.
The Cost of Egypt’s Continued Economic Growth
Egypt’s strong macroeconomic performance amid the COVID-19 pandemic and continued appeal to foreign investors hold promise for Cairo’s near-term financial stability. But it does not resolve the country’s stubbornly high poverty levels, which will eventually become a political liability by stoking anti-government sentiment. In an address on Oct. 18, Egypt’s finance minister said economic growth has exceeded even the finance ministry’s previous projections for 2020. This confidence reflects recent positive adjustments to Egypt’s economic outlook projections by Fitch Ratings, Deutsche Bank and the International Monetary Fund -- all of which now see Egypt’s economy growing at 3.5 percent of GDP in this year, exceeding the performance of most of its regional peers. But Cairo’s ongoing pursuit of business-friendly economic reforms in lieu of measures that address rising poverty levels could backfire by raising the risk of social unrest that ultimately deters foreign investment.
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SnapshotsOct 13, 2020 | 15:52 GMT
The Turkish military activates the S-400 missile system from Russia at an airbase in Ankara on Nov. 25, 2019.
What to Expect From Turkey’s Upcoming Missile System Test
Turkey is poised to soon test its new Russian S-400 missile system, betting that the immediate U.S. pushback will remain symbolic and not include sanctions. Turkey has signaled it will test the S-400 missile system near the Black Sea province of Sinop from Oct. 13-16, according to a “notice to airmen” from the Turkish government that warned of unspecific missile testing. Washington already ended Turkey’s participation in the F-35 program as punishment for purchasing the S-400 system, which it fears will provide Moscow with a backdoor to gain information on advanced NATO weapon systems, such as the F-35, in addition to fostering overall greater security cooperation between Turkey and Russia. U.S. President Donald Trump, however, has yet to signal any plans of enacting new sanctions on Turkey, which -- while popular in Congress -- would have to overcome a presidential veto. 
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AssessmentsOct 12, 2020 | 20:57 GMT
A picture taken during a helicopter tour organized by the government of the United Arab Emirates shows an aerial view of Dubai on July 8, 2020.
A Larger UAE Citizenry Would Mean Smoother Policymaking and Rockier Regional Ties
The United Arab Emirates is considering offering citizenship to its large expatriate population, which would significantly alter the country’s political economy, as well as its regional relationships, by assimilating non-Arab Gulf residents into its middle- and upper-classes. Over time, this new group of foreign-born Emirati citizens would likely erode the tribal and ethnic dynamics that have long shaped the governance of Abu Dhabi and Dubai, along with the cultural foundations driving many aspects of cooperation in the Arab Gulf. On Sept. 30, the Emirati government unveiled proposed changes to the country’s citizenship law that would ease the way for investors, long-term residents and wealthy foreigners to earn a permanent place in the country. With foreigners far outnumbering its local population, the United Arab Emirates’ current citizenship laws have offset the country’s long-standing demographic imbalances by ensuring the influence and prominence of its minority Emiratis via special legal and political protections. Changing
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