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The Yearly Foreword

Predictive Analytics for Geopolitical Risk

To start the new year, Predata has examined trends from 2018 to reveal what will be most important to track in 2019.

Concern over the escalating US-China trade war dogged the US economy in 2018. After agreeing to a temporary truce on the sidelines of the G20 on December 1, Presidents Trump and Xi...

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SecurityMiddle East

From Baghdad to Beirut

Both countries are unraveling, but internet attention to only Lebanon has remained high

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Unrest continues to roil Iraq and Lebanon. In both countries, the proximate causes are similar and familiar: people are fed up with corruption, poor economic conditions, and politi...

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SecurityEuropeMiddle East

Turkey the Pariah

Ankara's Syria offensive is prompting scrutiny of Turkey's place in the world -- especially from Europe.

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Last week, President Trump abruptly ordered a complete withdrawal of U.S. forces from northern Syria. Within 24 hours, Turkish forces crossed the border, attacking the Syrian Kurdi...

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PoliticsSecurityMiddle East

The World Is Watching

As global leaders gather for the UN General Assembly, the Middle East, North Korea, and climate change are dominating the internet.

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This week in New York City, world leaders have gathered for the UN General Assembly. It is a tense time for the planet. An attack on Saudi Arabia’s largest oil facility has stoked ...

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SecurityMiddle East

Does This Mean War?

The drone attack on Saudi oil facilities stoked fears about oil production, but not immediately about military conflict.

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On Saturday, September 14, drones claimed by Houthi rebels from Yemen attacked major oil production facilities at Abqaiq in Saudi Arabia. The damage forced disruptions that halved ...

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SecurityMiddle East

Afghanistan Without the US

A likely US withdrawal is resonating online -- but not in the ways Washington may want.

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After 18 years at war in Afghanistan, the United States may finally be nearing an exit. Late last week, international media reported that US and Taliban officials were close to rea...

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SecurityMiddle East

Are Iranian Proxies Mobilizing?

Digital realm erupts over possibility of regional confrontation.

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For a month, the United States has ratcheted up the pressure on Iran. At the end of April it ended waivers to sanctions for nations that imported Iranian oil. After Tehran announce...

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SecurityMiddle East

On the Ropes, ISIS Leader Surfaces

A rare video of Baghdadi emerged at a low point for the terror group, but online interest in ISIS' preferred explosive is rising.

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On April 29, ISIS released a video featuring the group’s leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. It was the first video of the self-styled Caliph of the Islamic State since June 2014, and it ...

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SecurityAfricaMiddle East

Arab Spring 2.0?

Historic upheaval in Algeria and Sudan is unlikely to trigger a movement.

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Last week, protesters in Sudan forced the ouster of President Omar al-Bashir, one of the world’s longest-reigning dictators. Weeks before that, sustained unrest in Algeria prompted...

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PoliticsMiddle East

Israel Votes

Trends in the digital realm may bode well for Netanyahu's challenger.

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On Tuesday, Israelis head to the polls in what has been a surprisingly close and contentious general election. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is fighting for his political life....

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PoliticsSecurityMiddle East

In Iran, a Tactical Resignation

The foreign minister's move appears to have strengthened President Rouhani and his allies versus the hardliners.

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Last week, long-serving Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif suddenly announced his resignation via Instagram. A chief proponent of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action ...

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