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Analysis

The Guns of Donetsk Have Gone Quiet

A newly reinforced cease-fire in eastern Ukraine could allow political negotiations to continue, but talks over the future of Ukraine still face obstacles.

Mexico Moves to Open Its Energy Sector

Revealing the contractual terms for bidding on offshore blocks is just the first procedure of many in attracting foreign companies to Mexico's oil and gas industry.

U.S. Agriculture Wilts During California Drought

California's continuing drought will affect the state's agricultural production, while the overuse of its water resources could have both regional and global implications.

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Field Notes
Stratfor In The News
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Kamran Bokhari on the Islamic State and the Shifting Middle East Landscape

"Iran’s trajectory is going up, and the Saudis are in trouble," says Kamran Bokhari, an adviser on Mideast affairs to the U.S.-based global intelligence company Stratfor. "The kingdom has major problems. It is in a multi-front struggle against Iran, the Shiites, Qatar, the Muslim Brotherhood, Al Qaeda and the Islamic State."

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Reva Bhalla on Putin's Message to the International Community

Stratfor's vice president of global analysis joined Bloomberg TV's "Bottom Line" for a discussion on Russia's mounting economic pressures, as well as other key geopolitical trends around the globe including U.S. nuclear talks with Iran and ECB President Mario Draghi's stimulus plan.

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Situation/Intelligence Reports

U.K.: EU Rules On Immigration Case

The European Court of Justice ruled that British citizens should be allowed to bring family members who are not EU citizens into the United Kingdom without a travel visa, as long as they are residents of another EU country, Sky News reported Dec. 18.

Nigeria: Soldiers Sentenced To Death For Mutiny

A Nigerian military court found 54 soldiers guilty of mutiny Dec. 17 and sentenced them to death, Premium Times reported.

Iraq: Kurds Near Economic Self-Sufficiency, Official Says

A rise in oil exports is enabling the Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, to near a point of economic self-sufficiency, Reuters reported Dec. 17.

Colombia: FARC Declares Unilateral Cease-Fire

The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia announced an indefinite unilateral cease-fire to begin on Dec. 20, El Pais reported, citing unconfirmed reports on social media.

Russia: Putin Not Out Of Touch, Press Secretary Says

Russian President Vladimir Putin feels the pain the ruble's recent drop has caused for the average citizen but believes that his approval ratings are not directly tied to the currency's value, his spokesman said Dec. 17, Itar-Tass reported.

France: Russian Marines To Leave Saint-Nazaire Soon

The 400 Russian marines in Saint-Nazaire, France, awaiting the delivery of the Mistral-class amphibious assault ship will leave by the Christmas holidays, Les Echos reported Dec. 17.

Cuba: U.S. President Gives Address On Enhancing Relations

U.S. President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro gave simultaneous addresses Dec. 17 to announce new moves toward enhanced relations between the two countries.

Syria: Mass Grave Discovered In Eastern Province

The bodies of some 230 people believed to be from the Al-Sheitaat tribe were discovered in a mass grave in Syria's Deir el-Zour province, The Daily Star reported Dec. 17.

Somalia: President Nominates New Prime Minister

Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud nominated Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke as the country's next prime minister Dec. 17, Africa Review reported.

Iraq: Kurdish Peshmerga Forces Make Gains Near Border

Kurdish peshmerga forces retook seven towns near Zumar, Iraq, from the Islamic State on Dec. 17, Rudaw News reported.

Pakistan, Afghanistan: Military Leaders Meet Following Attack

Pakistani Chief of Army Staff Gen. Raheel Sharif will meet with top Afghan military and political leaders to discuss a possible joint military operation against Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan, the group responsible for the deadly attack on a school in Peshawar, Dawn reported.

Afghanistan: Militants Attack Bank

Five suicide bombers, thought to be Taliban, stormed the New Kabul Bank in the provincial capital of Lashkar Gah, a spokesman for the governor said, The Guardian reported Dec. 17.

EU: Internal Divisions Arise Over Hamas

The European Union still considers Hamas a terrorist organization even though an EU court ruled that the Palestinian militant group should no longer be included on the list of international terrorist organizations, a European Commission representative said Dec. 17, AFP reported.

Cuba: American Prisoner Released

American contractor Alan Gross has been released and is on his way back to the United States after five years in a Cuban prison, ABC News reported Dec. 17.

Turkey: One Dead After Police And Kurdish Youth Clash

A 17-year-old boy was killed and one police officer was wounded during fighting in Diyarbakir between police and youths affiliated with the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), Reuters reported Dec. 17.

China: Former Nanjing Mayor Charged With Bribery

Ji Jianye, former mayor of Nanjing, was indicted on corruption charges, AP reported Dec. 17, citing a statement from the state prosecutor's office.

Uganda: Fighting Erupts With Congolese Rebels

Congo's M23 ex-rebel leader said several of the group's members were wounded Dec. 16 when Ugandan troops tried to force them to return home, AFP reported.

U.S.: President Will Sign Ukraine Bill

U.S. President Barack Obama will sign legislation that will increase the sanctions on Russia and provide more aid to Ukraine, the White House said, AP reported Dec. 16.

Forecasts