The United States and its closest intelligence allies have been intensifying efforts to identify growing Chinese influence campaigns abroad since the beginning of the year. The effort by the “Five Eyes” alliance—consisting of the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand—has also begun reaching out to other countries to share findings, according to an exclusive Reuters report on October 12.

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A Turkish court on October 12 freed from house arrest a US pastor whose case had severely strained ties between Washington and Ankara—NATO allies.

Pastor Andrew Brunson was arrested in 2016 and convicted on terrorism charges in relation with a coup attempt in Turkey on July 15, 2016. He was sentenced to three years in prison. Brunson has denied the charges.

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Brazil is down to its final two. Think you know everything about the race to the Palácio do Planalto? Test your knowledge with seven questions on the presidential election and the other hundreds of contests in Latin America's biggest country. Pull up your vote count spreadsheets and prove that no one follows an election like you.

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US troops have now been present in Afghanistan for the past seventeen years. Initially, the US-led offensive that came in response to al Qaeda’s attack on the United States on September 11, 2001, was mainly an air campaign, supported by indigenous anti-Taliban forces on the ground. This approach proved highly effective. Al Qaeda and Taliban command-and-control centers across Afghanistan were dismantled within days. Most of their commanders were forced to flee to safe havens in Pakistan.

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Europe’s two most prominent liberal leaders are teaming up. French President Emmanuel Macron and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte are expected to form an alliance in next year’s European parliamentary elections. With luck, it will make theirs the second-largest party in the European Parliament, which would give them considerable influence over the selection of the next European Commission president.

Macron and Rutte are both relatively young (forty and fifty-one, respectively), ambitious (Rutte is believed to covet the European Council presidency, currently held by Donald Tusk), and in favor of reform of the European Union (EU).

But they differ on what “reform” should mean, which could make theirs an unhappy marriage.

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Hurricane Michael—with winds of 155 mph when it made landfall on October 10—is one of the most powerful storms to ever strike the United States. While no level of preparedness can eliminate the significant threat that hurricanes like Michael pose, Florida is better prepared than many other states to weather the effects of major storms.

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Over the weekend, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a new report, authored in part by US scientists and approved by US officials, that provides an updated snapshot of the likely future impacts from increasingly severe climate change, as well as the world’s progress toward avoiding them. The report has drawn significant media attention, not least because it brings renewed scrutiny and debate to just what the world, and particularly the United States, can and should be doing to avoid the disruption, instability, and costs of a warming world.

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Many in Berlin and across Europe will be closely watching Bavaria’s October 14 state parliamentary election for its implications for German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s ruling coalition. The Christian Social Union (CSU), the Bavarian sister party of Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and one of three partners in her grand coalition, has long dominated the state’s unique politics, holding an absolute majority for all but one term since the 1960s. That dominance seems to be coming to an abrupt end, with repercussions that will be felt in Berlin. 

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This week, the Boards of Governors of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank Group (WBG) will convene for their annual meetings in Indonesia to discuss issues of global concern, including global economic growth. In the context of the meetings, the IMF publishes the World Economic Outlook (WEO) which analyzes global growth prospects in the short- and medium-term and the risks which impede these prospects. While this October’s report still predicts a steady expansion for 2018-19 at a 3.7 percent growth rate, this forecast is 0.2 percent lower than in April. One of the major reasons for this downward correction are recent trade policies which are expected to continue to be a downward risk leading to further disruption, uncertainty, and weaker growth.

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Nothing much changes in Bosnia. A journalist colleague of mine used to quip that since 2006, the year when a major constitutional reform failed, he could write the same piece over and over again. The names, the issues, the concerns would be pretty much identical. The West continues to be outmaneuvered by cunning politicians beating the drum of nationalism to cling to power.

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