4 January 2016   Leave a comment

The dispute between Saudi Arabia and Iran continues to deepen, although it is not likely that an open, violent confrontation will take place any time soon.  The dispute is long-standing over dominance in the Middle East although many continue to refer to the dispute as a Shia-Sunni split.  However, that issue is overblown by Westerners and, to the extent that it is valid, it is also constant.  What has changed is the relative distribution of power between the two.  Iran has been slowly gaining power largely due to the overthrow of Saddam Hussein in Iraq and the successful nuclear agreement.  At the same time Saudi Arabia has been losing influence largely due to the change in the government and Saudi stubbornness on the issue of its support for Wahabist groups abroad.

SunniShiiteMap

 

Stock markets all over the world took a major hit today and evidence continues to mount that the Chinese economy is slowing down.  Lost in all the panic, however, is the fate of some very important middle-income countries to global growth.  The worst case is probably Brazil as it has slid steadily into a crushing recession.

Brazil Recession 2016

 

Sweden introduced border controls on refugees entering from Denmark.  The change in policy reflects the incredible pressure on what has always been the most welcoming country in the world to refugees.  Although press coverage of the refugee crisis has tapered off, the crisis continues almost unabated despite the onset of winter.

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Posted January 4, 2016 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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