Situation Update Briefs

SUB: Worrying Left-Wing Extremist Trends Underline Long-Lasting Threat

Key Takeaways  Left-wing extremist (LWE) groups in Germany are increasingly interconnected, willing to use violence and have used the Covid-19 pandemic to consolidate pre-pandemic narratives. As a result, both overall support for LWE groups as well as the threat of violence posed by them are likely to increase in the coming year. Single issue mainstream …

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SUB: Gender Inequality and Covid-19

Key Takeaways  The Covid-19 pandemic is disproportionally impacting working women, with many taking on additional childcare, household and remote learning responsibilities. The financial toll from the absence of women contributing to the workforce could stunt GDP growth by over USD 1 trillion by 2030. However, if companies address gender imbalances worsened by the pandemic, global …

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SUB: China – New Development Strategy Sets Lofty Economic Ambitions in the Face of Persistent Geopolitical Challenges

Key Takeaways  China’s lawmakers and top political advisors are set to formally adopt the new socio-economic development blueprint that has already been drafted and endorsed by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) at the annual plenary meetings in Beijing. The 14th Five-Year Plan (FYP) will guide development strategy and policy for the next five years, with …

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SUB: COVID-19 Vaccines: Challenges and Opportunities

Key Takeaways  Optimism around Covid-19 vaccine development is giving way to logistical challenges in actioning complex immunisation programmes. Facing delays and the risk of resurgent case rates on the back of new variants, governments will continue to implement restrictions to mitigate transmission of SARSCoV-2, the virus that causes the disease, Covid-19. The strength of economic …

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SUB: Japan & US – Renewed Bilateral Security Commitment Could Trigger Domestic Unrest and Sustain Tensions with Beijing

Key Takeaways  The agreement to extend the bilateral cost-sharing arrangement on US forces stationed in Japan has raised concerns over potential anti-US protests and unrest in Okinawa, given the significant opposition to US military presence among the local population. Most notably, the US military’s apparent disregard of the Covid-19 restrictions and perceived disruptive training activities …

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SUB: Iran-South Korea – Vessel seizure drives tensions in final weeks of trump administration

Overview On 4 January, Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) seized a South Korean-flagged oil tanker in the Strait of Hormuz amidst an ongoing dispute over Iranian funds held in South Korean banks. The assets, totaling roughly USD 7 billion, were frozen in September 2019 when the US tightened sanctions on Iranian petrochemical exports, which included …

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SUB: Ethiopia – Conflict in the Tigray region: current situation and scenarios

Latest Developments since 6 November Fighting between the military and forces loyal to the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) has escalated in the Tigray Region in the past few days. The federal government claims that in fighting over 7-8 November the army had taken control of a large swathe of western Tigray, primarily in the …

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