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DGI Brief - May 23, 2016

Good morning and good Monday to all. Today's top 5 news on global issues: #Syria #Vietnam #USA #Epidemics #Austria #Turkey

- VIETNAM: With its highly professional army and relative stability, Vietnam’s ability to defend itself against Chinese threats in the South China Sea are central for the US strategy in the Asia-Pacific region. What about Vietnam’s poor human rights record? The country is the biggest jailer of journalists in the world, with no civic participation…

- WORLD: The World Bank Group facility provides coverage up to $500 mil for 3-yr period for outbreaks likely to cause major epidemics like influenza pandemics, SARS, MERS, Ebola etc. The WBG estimated that PEF would have mobilized an initial $100 mil in mid-2014 as Ebola outbreak began and could have severely limited the spread and severity of the epidemic. Instead, such funds did not come until 3 months later, during which time Ebola cases increased tenfold.

- AUSTRIA: Sigh of relief for Europe, but certainly not a victory. The Greens politician (running as an independent) Alexander Van der Bellen got 50.3% of the votes compared to 49.7% for Norbert Hofer of the right-wing, anti-immigration Freedom Party.

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