The threat of disruptive social unrest remains elevated in India and Chile, following protests in their respective capitals in recent weeks, with the demonstrations in Delhi descending into violence. Meanwhile in Russia, despite President Putin appearing to use the distraction of the Covid-19 outbreak to pass controversial constitutional amendments, mass-protests are unlikely, with large gatherings having been banned on the alleged basis of public health concerns.
A high level of government instability will endure in Sudan and Afghanistan, accompanied by the threat of political violence, while there is also a degree of political paralysis in Israel, Ireland, Slovakia and Guyana, with no clear way forward following recent inconclusive elections.
In Lebanon and South Africa, economic strain fuels public dissatisfaction and adds to the uncertain environment faced by foreign investors, while in the US, the domestic semiconductors industry may become the next victim of trade and technology-related tensions with China.
There have been some more positive developments as well, with the abolition of strict cotton production quotas in Uzbekistan marking an important step in ending forced labour in the country. Despite a recent rocket attack by an Iranian-backed militia on US forces in Iraq, both sides have demonstrated a sustained interest in avoiding a re-escalation of tensions, in part due to the distraction of dealing with the coronavirus outbreak.
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