If Hillary Clinton were Rachel in The Girl on the Train, Vladimir Putin would end up with a corkscrew in his neck. Alas, cyber wars don’t lend themselves to the neat endings of fictional whodunnits, much less most real crimes. Four months after the security firm Crowdstrike revealed that two groups of hackers believed to be based in Russia had penetrated the Democratic National Committee, convincing evidence has yet to surface that the Kremlin is responsible—and it may never. Likewise, security experts said last summer that whoever hacked Hillary Clinton’s private email servers was “far too skilled to leave evidence of their work.”

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Takeaways from Saudi Arabia’s record $17.5bn bond sale

Elaine Moore in London and Simeon Kerr in Dubai

Financial Times

Saudi was helped by the low-rate backdrop, but the demand for the 30-year bond still surprised

Saudi Arabia’s ambitious plan to chart a course away from oil dependence and towards a more diversified economy is off to a flying start — with a blockbuster $17.5bn debut sovereign bond sale.

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Duterte: Philippines is separating from US and realigning with China

The Guardian

Philippines president talks of resolving South China Sea dispute through dialogue in new ‘springtime’ in relations with China

The Philippine president, Rodrigo Duterte, has announced his “separation” from the United States, saying it has “lost” and he has realigned with China as the two agreed to resolve their South China Sea dispute through talks.

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The Roots of Hillary Clinton’s Foreign Policy

Geopolitical Futures
By George Friedman

The candidate has not shifted her strategy to respond to the changing reality in the international system.

This is an election in which anything can happen. Nevertheless, for now at least, it appears that Hillary Clinton will be the next president of the United States. For the moment, we can turn away from the real issues of this world to the question of what Clinton’s foreign policy might look like if she wins. It is an important question, inasmuch as I was at a dinner last night where there were foreign diplomats, and they seemed oddly obsessed with the question.

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Nuclear Disarmament – A Challenge for the New UN Chief

Analysis by Alyn Ware*

NEW YORK (IDN) – The United Nations General Assembly has on October 13 affirmed António Guterres, the former Prime Minister of Portugal and UN High Commissioner for Refugees, as the next United Nations Secretary-General (UNSG). The UN Security Council had on October 5 nominated him for the position after considering 13 candidates.

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A Nonviolent Strategy to End the Climate Catastrophe

Robert J. Burrowes

As the evidence mounts that we are fast approaching the final point-of-no-return beyond which it will be impossible to take sufficient effective action to prevent climate catastrophe – see ‘The World Passes 400 PPM Threshold. Permanently’ – the evidence of ineffective official responses climbs too. See, for example, ‘Climate Con: why a new global deal on aviation emissions is really bad news’.

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In Germany, a Founding EU Principle Is Challenged


Geopolitical Diary 


The German Cabinet on Wednesday approved a bill that would deny welfare benefits to unemployed citizens of other EU nations for five years. Defenders of the plan, which has yet to be taken up by parliament, argue that Germany needs to prevent inactive citizens from other EU members from claiming benefits in the country. The proposal marks a notable development in the evolution of the free movement of people in the European Union, one of the bloc’s founding tenets. From a principle that guarantees the free movement of citizens, the bloc could be slowly moving to a free movement of workers.

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A Snapshot of a Multipolar World in Action

by Dilip Hiro
LobeLog – Foreign Policy

In the strangest election year in recent American history — one in which the Libertarian Party’s Gary Johnson couldn’t even conjure up the name of a foreign leader he “admired” while Donald Trump remained intent on building his “fat, beautiful wall” and “taking” Iraq oil — the world may be out of focus for many Americans right now. So a little introduction to the planet we actually inhabit is in order. Welcome to a multipolar world. One fact stands out: Earth is no longer the property of the globe’s “sole superpower.”

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Panama: The Hidden Trillions

Alan Rusbridger

The New York Review of Books

In a seminar room in Oxford, one of the reporters who worked on the Panama Papers is describing the main conclusion he drew from his months of delving into millions of leaked documents about tax evasion. “Basically, we’re the dupes in this story,” he says. “Previously, we thought that the offshore world was a shadowy, but minor, part of our economic system. What we learned from the Panama Papers is that it is the economic system.”

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Syria—What Cost “Victory?”

by Graham E. Fuller
LobeLog Foreign Policy

A deep contradiction lies at the heart of US policy towards the present horrifying conflict in Syria. Which is better? To now reluctantly accept continuation of Bashar al-Asad in power in Damascus for the foreseeable future, thereby hastening the end of the war and the killing? Or to fight till the last Syrian in the belief that an indefinite prolongation of the civil war will somehow bring about a much brighter future for Syria and deal a rebuff to the position of Russia and Iran in Syria?

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The invasion of Afghanistan 15 years ago was an arrogant, wretched adventure that caused a migrant crisis

Afghanistan will not become Islamistan or even Talibanistan. It will, when the West finally packs up and leaves, become Mafiastan. Perhaps it already is

Robert Fish/Independent

As usual, all the warnings were there. Three Anglo-Afghan wars. Russia’s Vietnam. The Graveyard of Empires. Poppy capital of the world. The most bombed, crushed, corrupted, mined nation on the globe.

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Afghan Government Staring at the Abyss

By Kamran Bokhari
Geopolitical Futures

The Taliban seem to be overwhelming the government on the battlefield.

For many years, Afghanistan was stuck in a stalemate: the Taliban were not losing and the Afghan government was not winning. Judging from the daily reports coming from Afghanistan, especially during this past year, one can’t help but infer that the Taliban are now on a winning streak. Part of this shift is a result of the NATO drawdown, since Afghan security forces on their own are not able to counter the jihadist insurgents. Since the United States is not going to deploy the forces needed to reverse this trend, we have to begin considering a scenario in which the Taliban could overwhelm the Afghan state.

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