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Argentines go to the polls on October 25 for what is shaping up to be one of the most important elections in years. Whoever wins — either this Sunday or in a likely November 22 runoff — will end the twelve-year Kirchner era. Who will tango their way into the Casa Rosada?

In this month's spotlight, we ask: what will be the outcome of Argentina's presidential elections?
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Can Latin America maintain the momentum of the past decade's social transformations? The answer will depend on its ability to adopt innovative solutions to advance social progress. Considered the third arm of development by the World Bank, social entrepreneurship in Latin America has expanded dramatically in the past two decades and is today addressing societal problems that governments, civil society, and the private sector cannot effectively tackle.

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The Obama administration and its European allies are confronted by multiple crises in an increasingly turbulent and violent Middle East — the Iran nuclear threat, a strengthening Islamic State and the disintegration of Iraq, Yemen and Libya as functioning nation-states. But no problem is as difficult, grave or pivotal as the brutal, bloody and worsening civil war in Syria.

The situation in this keystone Middle East state is catastrophic. More than 220,000 Syrians have died in its four-year civil war. More than 11 million Syrians — half the population — have fled their homes. Four million have taken refuge in nearby countries. Nearly double that number are displaced within Syria itself. The Islamic State occupies more than a third of Syria's territory and swathes of Iraq. Given this level of deprivation, mass murder and geopolitical risk in Syria, the response of the rest of the world has been woefully inadequate. The U.N. Security Council has been neither a peacemaker nor a pain reliever.

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With the arrival of Secretary of State John Kerry and his Iranian counterpart, Javad Zarif, in Vienna Friday, the climax to nearly two years of intensive negotiations is at hand.

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Faced with a $1.8 billion debt payment to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Tuesday, Greece was unable to reach an agreement with its Eurozone partners and the IMF yesterday in the latest round of talks in Brussels as both sides failed to make progress on key issues such as pension reform and taxation. A final session of negotiations will begin on Saturday, where Greece will have one last chance to strike a deal to unlock $8.06 billion in bailout aid. Absent an agreement, EU leaders are prepared to implement measures such as capital controls and even humanitarian aid to help stem the spread of economic contagion caused by a Greek default. If capital controls do in fact have to be adopted, they will be discussed and finalized over the weekend.

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I "visited" Iran the other day, but didn't need a visa or a plane ticket.

Through the magic of the Internet and sophisticated audiovisual technology, I chatted for 20 minutes with a young man in Tehran about the mood in society in anticipation of a historic nuclear agreement with the U.S. and five other nations.

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Bottom Line Up Front:

• A multinational joint task force consisting of Nigeria, Chad, Cameroon, and Niger has driven Boko Haram from key territorial strongholds in northeastern Nigeria; on June 18, the Chadian military conducted airstrikes against six Boko Haram bases in Nigeria

• But the terror group continues to launch deadly, near-daily attacks throughout the region—including on June 15 with twin suicide bombings in Chad—using guerrilla tactics rather than conventional warfare• Nigeria’s newly-inaugurated president, Muhammadu Buhari, has moved quickly to support regional counter-Boko Haram efforts, insisting on Nigerian leadership in the task force and pledging $100 million in financial support

• Despite the nascent successes of the joint task force, Islamic State gains in North Africa and, in particular, Libya, could impact the flow of weapons and fighters into Nigeria; Boko Haram pledged allegiance to the Islamic State in March of this year.

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After a period of Brazil's necessary distancing from the United States in the wake of the National Security Agency spying scandal in 2013, both countries are ready to reengage. The June 30 meeting between Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and US President Barack Obama comes amid much change—both in Brazil itself and in the United States' relationship with the broader region. A flurry of shuttle diplomacy is setting the stage for what many hope will be a substantive visit.

Rousseff's official US trip comes in a period of domestic uncertainty—recession and corruption scandals are crippling her popularity and power. The rapprochement is a byproduct of Brazil's foreign policy aligning with domestic policy: she needs to change Brazil's—and her—negative narrative to a positive one. While Workers' Party (PT) stalwarts remain skeptical of closer relations with the United States, today it represents one of the most important roads back toward renewed growth of the Brazilian economy. For the United States, this presents a unique opportunity to inject new life into the bilateral relationship. (A full Arsht Center report on the bilateral agenda, US-Brazil Relations: A New Beginning? How to Strengthen the Bilateral Agenda, will be released on June 19.).

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This week, there were a plethora of events in Washington devoted to deepening understanding of the factors tearing apart Syria, Libya, Iraq and Yemen and threatening the stability of many other countries in the region.

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As a June 30 deadline for a deal on Iran's nuclear program approaches, casual observers of the talks might be forgiven for thinking that this is mostly a duel between U.S. and Iranian negotiators.

But without the participation of the so-called E-3 – Britain, France and Germany – nuclear diplomacy with Iran would probably never have gotten to this point and might not have happened at all.

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