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DGI Brief - Nov 28, 2016

Good Monday to all. Today's top 3 global issues #news are about #Canada #Yemen and #Cuba:

- CANADA’s military is plagued by a sadly common evil of sexual assault, with a new report showing an average of 3 Canadian soldiers were sexually assaulted or harassed each day over the past year. Why it matters: Canada attempts to combat the endemic sexual misconduct within its ranks after a scathing report last year, but this survey suggests the attempts have been ineffective. More than half of the military took the survey, which means the 960 soldiers who reported being “raped, grabbed, kissed, fondled or subjected to unwanted advances” are likely 2x as many. The survey also showed that only 1 in 4 victims actually reported the incidents to authorities for fear of retribution or lack of trust in the process. The answer seems clear doesn’t it? Strengthen the processes, build trust through sound justice mechanisms. In every country. Canada & the US aren’t the only ones.

- YEMEN: The Houthi rebels formed a new government with ousted ex-president Saleh’s General People’s Congress party, further complicating the bloody 2-yr conflict. Why it matters: There are now 2 governments. The internationally-recognized government of President Hadi (sheltering in Saudi Arabia) based in Aden, and the Houthis’ National Salvation Government in Sanaa. Both sides seem closed to UN-mediated peace efforts & the formation of this new government will likely cement their positions where peace negotiations are not even on the horizon. We have the example of Libya to learn from. Ordinary civilians, on the brink of famine, again paying the price.

- CUBA: For the first time in 50 years, US airlines start regularly scheduled commercial service to Havana this week as part of the normalization of relations with the island nation. But the same day, President-elect Trump threatened to “terminate” the US détente with Cuba if the government doesn’t allow for greater freedoms & give Americans more in return. Why it matters: Aside from the hypocrisy of asking for greater freedoms (religion, press, human rights) when the Trump’s presidential campaign rhetoric called for everything but those exact freedoms, the economic consequences to both countries are the real issues. Should Trump go back on President Obama’s initiatives, the investments in commercial flights, agriculture & hospitality (hotels) would be lost & deal a serious economic blow to US businesses as well as Cuba. The problem is we do not know what exactly Trump means by a “better deal/more in return”. We must remember Raul Castro isn’t exactly welcoming with open arms, and a “get tough” approach could set us back…well 50 years.

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