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Lauren Goodrich on Russia's Upcoming Elections

In an op-ed for Newsweek, Stratfor Senior Eurasia Analyst Lauren Goodrich says Sunday's parliamentary elections will be a litmus test for the strength of President Vladimir Putin's administration.

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Situation Reports

Colombia: ELN Releases Hostage

Colombian militant group ELN released a hostage in a rural area of Aruaca department on Sept. 29, Radio Santa Fe reported. Read more…

Egypt: Cairo Blast May Be Part Of Assassination Attempt

An explosion occurred in a neighborhood in east Cairo on Sept. 29, causing at least three injuries, Al-Masry Al-Youm reported. Read more…

Colombia: Second-Biggest Rebel Group Ready For Formal Peace Talks

Colombia's second-biggest militant group, the National Liberation Army (ELN), said it is prepared to begin formal peace negotiations with the government, BBC reported Sept. 29. Read more…

Jordan: After Gas Deal With Israel Finalized, More Protests Expected

Protests are planned in several Jordanian cities for Sept. 30 after the country recently finalized a $10 billion deal with the energy firms Noble and Delek for the delivery of Israeli natural gas, according to reporting by Al Ghad and news circulating on Twitter. Read more…

Sudan: Rights Group Accuses Government Of Using Chemical Weapons

Amnesty International accused Sudan's government of using chemical weapons dozens of times since the beginning of 2016, in attacks that killed hundreds of civilians in the country's Darfur region, BBC reported. Read more…

China: Defense Ministry Warns Japan Against Joint Patrols With U.S.

A Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman said Sept. 29 that Japan is "playing with fire" in planning to conduct joint patrols with the United States in the South China Sea, Sina and VOA reported. Read more…

India: Military Says It Conducted Cross-Border Raids In Pakistan

Information continues to emerge after an apparent escalation along the India-Pakistan border early Sept. 29. India announced it conducted cross-border "surgical strikes" on Pakistan-based militants, The Hindustan Times reported. Read more…

India, Pakistan: Two Pakistani Soldiers Killed In Kashmir Clash

Two Pakistani soldiers were killed during an exchange of fire with Indian troops across the line of control in the disputed region of Kashmir on Sept. 29, the Pakistani army said, Reuters reported. Read more…

Philippines: Joint Drills With U.S. To Go Ahead, But Future In Doubt

Joint military drills with the United States will go ahead in 2017, but war games between the two countries from 2018 onward will be reviewed, Philippines Foreign Minister Perfecto Yasay said Sept. 29, Reuters reported. Read more…

Syria: U.S. Threatens To Cut Off Talks With Russia If Aleppo Airstrikes Continue

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry told Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov that the United States will suspend all talks with Moscow over Syria if airstrikes by Russian and Syrian government planes continue to target Aleppo city, a State Department spokesman said, AP reported. Read more…

U.S.: President Nominates New Ambassador to Cuba

U.S. President Barack Obama nominated Jeffrey DeLaurentis to be the new U.S. ambassador to Cuba, The New York Times reported Sept. 27. Read more…

Iraq: U.S. To Deploy Additional Troops For Fight Against Islamic State

The United States is preparing to deploy more troops to Iraq to help in the battle against the Islamic State for the northern city of Mosul, unnamed U.S. officials said Sept. 28, AP reported. Read more…

Poland: Cabinet Changes Forthcoming, Official Says

Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydlo will announce Cabinet changes on Sept. 28, a government representative said, AP reported. Read more…

Venezuela: U.S. Diplomat To Return For Talks

U.S. Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Thomas Shannon is set to visit Venezuela on Sept. 28 to meet with government officials, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said Sept. 27, Efecto Cocuyo reported. Read more…

Spain, Belgium, Germany: 5 Arrested On Terrorism Charges

Authorities in Spain, Belgium and Germany arrested on Sept. 28 five people accused of spreading propaganda and trying to recruit fighters for the Islamic State, a Spanish Interior Ministry statement said, AP reported. Read more…

Ukraine: New Investigation Implicates Russia In Malaysia Airlines Downing

A Dutch-led investigation has concluded that the surface-to-air missile system that was used to down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over eastern Ukraine in July 2014 was trucked in from Russia, The New York Times reported Sept. 28. Read more…

Israel: Former Prime Minister Dies

Former Israeli Prime Minister and President Shimon Peres has died at the age of 93, BBC reported Sept. 27. Read more…

Argentina: Natural Gas Price Hike For Businesses Suspended

A federal judge has suspended government increases in the price of natural gas for small and medium-sized businesses, La Nacion reported Sept. 27. Read more…

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