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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

Iraq: Mosul Offensive To Begin Oct. 19, Erdogan 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…

Bosnia-Herzegovina: Serbs Vote To Keep Statehood Day In Referendum

Bosnian Serbs have voted overwhelmingly to keep Jan. 9 as a national holiday in defiance of Bosnia-Herzegovina's Constitutional Court, BBC reported Sept. 25. Read more…

Switzerland: Voters Approve Surveillance Powers For Authorities

Swiss voters have approved a law on new surveillance powers for the intelligence agencies, BBC reported Sept. 25. Read more…

Somalia: Parliamentary Elections Again Postponed

Parliamentary elections in Somalia have been postponed for the second time in two months due to a dispute over how to select future members, a lawmaker said Sept. 25, Reuters reported. Read more…

Syria: Turkey Open To Operation In Raqqa If Kurdish Rebels Excluded

Turkey wants to join the United States in a military operation to push the Islamic State from its Syrian stronghold of Raqqa, as long as it excludes Kurdish rebel forces, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Sept. 25, Reuters reported. Read more…

Iraq: Islamic State Claims Suicide Bombing In West Baghdad

An Islamic State suicide bomber blew himself up in a commercial street of Baghdad on Sept. 25, killing seven people and wounding 28, police sources said, Reuters reported. Read more…

China: Air Force Holds Drills In Western Pacific Ocean

China's air force said Sept. 25 it had flown more than 40 bombers and other fighter planes through a strait between Japanese islands on their way to drills in the western Pacific Ocean, Reuters reported. Read more…

U.S.: Police Seek Motive In Washington State Mall Shooting After Suspect's Arrest

Authorities on Sept. 25 were still working to determine what prompted suspected gunman Arcan Cetin to open fire in a Washington state mall, killing five people, Reuters reported. Read more…

Syria: Government Forces Take Handarat Camp North Of Aleppo

The Syrian army and militia allies seized high ground north of Aleppo on Sept. 24, tightening a siege of the city's rebel-held east while warplanes bombed it relentlessly in a Russia-backed offensive, Reuters reported. Read more…

U.S.: Police Searching For Seattle Mall Shooter

Police searched Sept. 24 for a gunman authorities said opened fire in a Macy's store at a mall north of Seattle, Washington, killing five people before fleeing toward an interstate highway on foot, AP reported. Read more…

Colombia: FARC Members Approve Peace Deal

Colombia's largest rebel group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), has given its approval to a peace deal with the government after nearly four years of talks, BBC reported Sept. 24. Read more…

Nigeria: Niger Delta Avengers Claim Attack On Bonny Crude Export Line

Nigerian militant group the Niger Delta Avengers said Sept. 24 it had carried out its first attack in the country's southern energy hub since it declared in August it was halting hostilities to pursue talks with the government, Reuters reported. Read more…

France: Migrants In Calais To Be Dispersed Across Country, President Says

French President Francois Hollande said Sept. 24 that thousands of migrants living in the shantytown near the port city of Calais in northern France would be dispersed across the country, Reuters reported. Read more…

Gabon: Court Upholds Presidential Election Results

Gabon's Constitutional Court upheld President Ali Bongo Ondimba's victory in the presidential election on Aug. 27, following a complaint by the opposition that a recount was needed, Bloomberg reported Sept. 24. Read more…

Turkey, U.S.: Gulen Will Return To Turkey If Extradited

Fethullah Gulen said in a Sept. 23 interview with German television company ZDF that he will return to Turkey if the United States grants the request for his extradition, the Daily Star reported. Read more…

Turkey: President Claims Kurdish Fighters In Syria Received U.S. Weapons

Turkish President Tayyip Recep Erdogan alleged that the United States has provided additional weapons for the People's Protection Units (YPG), a Kurdish militia fighting in Syria that is considered a terrorist group by Ankara, Reuters reported Sept. 23. Read more…

Yemen: Government Returns To Aden

The Yemeni government is returning to Aden from Saudi Arabia, various Yemeni news sources including Al Mashhad al Yamani reported Sept. 23. Read more…

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