DGI Brief - Dec 23, 2016

Happy Friday to all. Today's top 3 global issues #news are about #Gambia #Brazil and a #GoodStoryFriday about #France: - GAMBIA: President Jammeh, in power for 22 years, has lost the election to opposition leader Adama Barrow but refuses to step down due to his claims of voting irregularities. Leaders of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) decided to send in military troops, to be led by Senegal, if President Jammeh does not hand over power by January 19. Why it matters: Jammeh has mobilized troops across the country & seems willing to authorize them to crush what are surely to be massive protests everywhere if he doesn’t step down. Gambia has a troubling record of human r

DGI Brief - Dec 22, 2016

Happy Thursday. Today's top 3 global issues #news are about #Japan the #Arctic #Israel #Palestine: - JAPAN: Prime Minister Abe approved a record $43.6 billion defense budget including funds for maritime law enforcement personnel & equipment, stating the need to better respond to China & North Korea. Why it matters: The threats are real – North Korea gets closer to nuclear missiles every day while China’s aggression in the disputed South China Sea territory is making the entire continent nervous. Military buildup is not a good signal of what’s to come. Even though regional war is in nobody’s interest, there are far too many autocratic, even despotic leaders at the verge of snapping. We need t

DGI Brief - Dec 21, 2016

Good Wednesday everyone. Today's top 3 global issues #news are about #Russia #Philippines and #Ethiopia: - RUSSIA: The US Treasury Department blacklisted 7 businessmen & 8 corporations involved in activities that are said to have aided Russian government in its occupation of Crimea & continued aggression against Ukraine. Why it matters: Although such targeted sanctions are part of regular update of sanctions (every 6 months), the designation is a show of support to the European Union who announced their extension of sanctions against Russia just a day earlier. There were concerns as a number of EU members – Italy, Hungary & Slovakia – were against the renewal, but common sense prevailed. It’

DGI Brief - Dec 20, 2016

Happy Tuesday to all. Today's top 3 global issues #news are about #China #SouthSudan and #USA: - Beijing & the industrial northern CHINA are engulfed in toxic haze that has crippled the region, prompting the government to issue “red alert” & emergency measures to cut down on air pollution – closing factories, highways, schools, restricting traffic etc. Why it matters: > 460 million people are effected, with >200 million people living in areas where air pollution is 10x above the WHO guidelines. The safe limit is 25 micrograms of poisonous PM2.5 particles per cubic meter, but the readings in Beijing & northern Chinese cities today were >300 & 500 micrograms respectively. Aside from the econom

DGI Brief - Dec 19, 2016

Happy Monday to all. Today's top 3 global issues #news are about #IMF #DRCongo and #Bolivia: - WORLD: Christine Lagarde received a vote of “full confidence” from IMF’s executive board after French court found her guilty of 1 count of negligence for her role in a 2008 case when she served as France’s finance minister. Why it matters: The case centered on a $425-million arbitration award to Bernard Tapie, a politically connected tycoon, over a botched sale of Adidas brand in the 1990s. Lagarde was found guilty of not contesting the unusual award & not ordering regular courts to settle the legal battle. The French court did note that she was enthralled in saving France in the 2008 financial cri

DGI Brief - Dec 16, 2016

Happy Friday. Today's top 3 global issues #news are about #LatinAmerica #USA and a #GoodStoryFriday about #Poland - LATIN AMERICA & the Caribbean region’s GDP is projected to contract at the average rate of 1.1% in 2016, with Suriname & Venezuela being the worst performing economies, contracting 10.4% & 9.7% respectively. Why it matters: The region is expected to experience a moderate growth for 2017, led by Dominican Republic & Panama with 6.4% & 5.2% respectively. But the recovery will be fragile as long as protectionism & geopolitical uncertainties continue. The economic projections forecast commodities trade for South America & tourism in the Caribbean will contribute to overall GDP grow

DGI Brief - Dec 15, 2016

Happy Thursday. Today's top 3 global issues #news are about #France #Niger and #nuclear threats around the world: - In an unprecedented move, FRANCE’s head of Defense & National Security employed the National Cybersecurity Agency (ANSSI) to train French political parties on defending against cyber-attacks aimed to influence the 2o17 presidential and parliamentary elections. Why it matters: Like Germany, France quickly learned from the US election where Russian-sponsored sophisticated & repeated attacks on the political system likely swayed the election results. It is deeply troubling that we can now influence regime changes without firing a shot (I don’t condone such means). We are all becom

DGI Brief - Dec 8, 2016

Good Thursday to all. Today's top 3 global issues #news are about #USA, #Germany and #animals #plants - US President-elect chose Scott Pruitt, Oklahoma’s attorney general, as the next EPA administrator. Why it matters: Pruitt is an infamous climate science skeptic who has dedicated his latest efforts to waging legal action against the EPA Clean Power Plan – nationwide framework to curb greenhouse gas emissions from coal-fired power plants. Environmental groups are terrified that having a known friend of the fossil-fuel industry in charge of regulation will be devastating for the progress we’ve made on climate change action, especially since President-elect Trump is also a climate change deni

DGI Brief - Dec 7, 2016

Happy Wednesday. Today's top 3 global issues #news are about #Kenya #Iran and #Mexico: - KENYA: All doctors and nurses from public hospitals have been on strike, putting the healthcare sectors into complete disarray. President Uhuru urged its end claiming nearly 20 people died due to lack of care. 87 patients reportedly escaped from psychiatric hospital on the first day of the strike. Why it matters: The workers, represented by Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists & Dentists Union, are calling for pay raise & end of corruption within the health ministry, currently investigated for inflating contracts with private health businesses. Instead of listening to the strikers & attempting to res

DGI Brief - Dec 6, 2016

Happy Tuesday to all. Today's top 3 global issues #news are about #USA, #Indonesia and #WestAfrica - USA: New study by National Center for Atmospheric Research warns that as global temperatures rise, the US will see a drastic increase – up 400% - in rainstorms & flash flooding by the end of the century. Storms that happen once a season could happen 5x a season, producing 70% more rain. Why it matters: The increase in rainstorms will put unsustainable strain on our infrastructure that is already ill equipped to deal with heavy rainfall (i.e. LA, WV). Agriculture will face even more serious consequences – frequent heavy rains are damaging to crops. Only moderate storms are a good course of wat

DGI Brief - Dec 5, 2016

Happy Monday! Today's top 3 global issues #news are about #Austria #Gambia and #USA: - AUSTRIA’s center-left politician Alexander Van der Bellen beat the far-right leader of the Nazi-founded, ultra-nationalist Freedom Party, Norbert Hofer in a run-off presidential election 53.6% to 46.4%. Why it matters: liberals across Europe rejoiced while at the same the reality sets in – almost half of Austria voted for a representative of a party first founded by Nazis. Bridging the divide will be a monumental task & we should never lose sight of its importance if we value peace, unity, humanity. Don’t fall asleep under the sun, for there is much work to be done, but you can bask in the sunlight for a b

DGI Brief - Dec 2, 2016

Happy Friday to all. Today's top 3 global issues #news are about #SouthKorea #Sudan and #GoodStoryFriday about #environment & #airpollution - SOUTH KOREA’s 3 opposition parties announced a motion for the impeachment of President Park will be presented on December 9. Why it matters: The vote will require 2/3 vote in the Lower House & the opposition will have to convince at least 28 lawmakers from Park’s Saenuri party to turn on their leader, which may not prove to be difficult given that portion of the party is inclined to vote for the impeachment if Park doesn’t provide detailed plan of her resignation (peaceful transfer of power) by Dec 7. Looks like another female head of state will roll.

DGI Brief - Dec 1, 2016

Happy Thursday. Today's top 3 global issues #news are about #Colombia #Tunisia and #SouthSudan - COLOMBIA’s congress approved the revised peace agreement between the government & FARC, after President Santos decided the deal would not be decided by a referendum again. Why it matters: The revision commits FARC to give all their assets for reparations to the victims & many other improvements & clarifications. But all is not yet won – the constitutional court has to decide whether Congress can ‘fast track’ passing the necessary laws to implement the deal, a process that would otherwise take up to a year and a half. Will the court stay on the right side of history? - Regional & western powers pl

DGI Brief - Nov 30, 2016

Happy Wednesday, all. Today's top 3 global issues news are about #NorthKorea #OPEC and #India - Responding to NORTH KOREA’s continuous pursuit of nuclear weapons in defiance of all diplomatic efforts, the UN Security Council unanimously further tightened the international sanctions on the country. Why it matters: The new sanctions target North Korea’s hard currency revenues by banning & capping exports/imports (coal, metals, statues etc.), limiting access to int’l banking systems, better clarifying the current exemptions that many businesses & Pyongyang exploited and going after illicit schemes. The sanctions also threaten, for the first time, to suspend North Korea’s UN privileges. The issu

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