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Global Forecast (07-17-2018)

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Belt and Road’s Kenya railway starts off in the red, Trump and Putin leave a lasting impression in Helsinki, and Japan and the EU buck the protectionist trend with a free trade deal.

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Spain: The Final Test Case for Social Democracy in the EU

Pedro Sanchez, cc Rodrigo Ponce de León, modified, https://www.eldiario.es/licencia/ ; https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Pedro-Sanchez-congreso-PSOE_EDIIMA20170618_0312_21.jpg

Pedro Sanchez and the PSOE must find a workable solution to the migration issue; the future of social democracy in Europe may depend on it.

Buhari’s Star Losing Its Shine ahead of Nigeria Elections

NigeriaRex, cc Flickr U.S. Department of State, modified, http://www.usa.gov/copyright.shtml

Fending off criticism over corruption, his poor health, and a worsening national security outlook, President Buhari’s path to reelection in February is anything but assured.

Sudan Might Be Open for Business, but Only for the Intrepid

Sudanmineaction, cc Flickr Norsk Folkehjelp Norwegian People's Aid, modified, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

It’s going to take creativity, hard work, and patience, but with some luck we may be looking at a new African economic powerhouse in the years to come.

Backgrounder: Pakistan Election

PakistanElectionProcession, cc Flickr Wasif Malik, modified, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Millions of Pakistanis will head to the polls on July 25 to elect a new government, braving a wave of election-related violence across the country.

Africa: Playground for Asian Powers

Mombasa port, cc Flickr, modified, https://www.flickr.com/photos/meaact/

China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and the Indo-Japan Asia-Africa Growth Corridor (AAGC) are playing to their strengths as the competition for Africa heats up.

Backgrounder: Nord Stream 2

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Key background information on Nord Stream 2, the energy pipeline that was center stage at this week’s NATO summit.

Trump Fires Another Volley in US-China Trade War

Presidents Trump and Xi on the US president's trip to Asia. cc Whitehouse.gov, modified, https://www.whitehouse.gov/copyright/

With all avenues to an easy de-escalation now blocked, President Trump’s latest round of tariffs suggests that the US-China trade war is here to stay.

Democracy and the Arc of Progress

StatueofLIberty, cc Flickr Pablo Muñoz, modified, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

After decades of progress, democracy is backsliding worldwide. At what point will people rise up and put a stop to it?

Central Asia in 2018: What’s the Future of the C5+1?

TrumpNazarb, cc Flickr The White House, modified, https://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/mark/1.0/

Washington has been making minor inroads into Central Asia, but will it be enough to stave off diplomatic irrelevance vis-à-vis China and Russia?

US-North Korea Talks Hit the Skids on Denuclearization Details

Pompeo2, cc Flickr Gage Skidmore, modified, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

Two divergent views of ‘denuclearization’ were on display in failed US-DPRK talks over the weekend.

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