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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 growth. Adjust accordingly.

- US government decided to halt the renewal of a 5-year anti-poverty aid package to the PHILIPPINES over President Duterte’s controversial anti-drug campaign. Why it matters: > 2000 people have been killed extra-judiciously, causing concerns about the country’s human rights, civil liberties & rule of law. The Philippine President has boasted about his approach & often speaks with deep disrespect about the long-standing alliance with the US. Can’t be supporting a questionable regime with millions of dollars a year. Meanwhile, the US Army began restocking Cold War-era depot in the NETHERLANDS with heavy weaponry as a precaution against Russia’s aggression. US has not had heavy equipment (tanks etc.) in Europe for over 3 years, but the developments of the last year especially are changing the landscape. Arms build up is a scary future proposition.

- #GoodStoryFriday POLAND becomes the 157th country in the world to have destroyed its stockpiles of anti-personnel mines. Why it matters: 162 countries have joined the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention, or Ottawa Convention, aimed at eliminating the use of these terrible weapons. They have been designed to maim, inflict the most extensive injuries to combatants, but in fact 4/5 of mine casualties are civilians, especially children. Following the signing of the Ottawa treaty, >48 million stockpiles have been destroyed. Now if only the US, Russia China & 32 other states could sign/ratify too to rid our world of these.

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