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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

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…

Azerbaijan: Voters Approve Extending Presidential Term, Powers In Referendum

Voters in Azerbaijan approved by a large majority plans to extend presidential term limits and increase executive powers in a Sept. 26 referendum, the head of the country's electoral authority said, AP reported Sept. 27. Read more…

Colombia: Government, FARC Sign Historic Peace Deal

Colombia's government signed a historic peace deal with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) on the evening of Sept. 26, BBC reported Sept. 27. Read more…

Saudi Arabia: Public Sector Pay Cuts Announced By Royal Decrees

Saudi Arabia announced a series of public sector pay cuts Sept. 26, reducing the salaries of government ministers and capping wages, overtime pay and annual leave for other civil servants, BBC reported Sept. 27. Read more…

Iraq: 3 Blasts Rock Baghdad, Killing At Least 17

Two suicide attacks and a roadside bomb rocked Baghdad on Sept. 27, killing at least 17 people and wounding dozens of others, medical and police sources said, Reuters reported. Read more…

Syria: Gulf States May Arm Syrian Rebels, U.S. Officials Say

Gulf states are more likely to begin arming Syrian rebels with shoulder-fired missiles to defend themselves against Syrian and Russian warplanes now that the latest cease-fire has collapsed, unnamed U.S. officials said Sept. 26, Reuters reported. Read more…

Iraq: Mosul Offensive To Begin Oct. 19, Turkish President Says

The offensive to push Islamic State forces out of the Iraqi city of Mosul will begin Oct. 19, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Sept. 25, Rudaw reported. Read more…

Spain: Socialist Party Suffers Losses In Galicia, Basque Country Regional Elections

Spain's regional elections in Galicia and the Basque Country reinforced the center-right People's Party (PP) on Sept. 25 while dealing a blow to the Socialist Party, Reuters reported. Read more…

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