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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

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…

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…

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