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Militant Proliferation and the Consequences of Fragmentation

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Intriguing analysis

Originally posted on Political Violence @ a Glance:

Guest post by Evan Perkoski

Map of territorial control in the Syrian Civil War as of 13 July 2015. Image from Wikimedia. Map of territorial control in the Syrian Civil War as of 13 July 2015. Image from Wikimedia.

Contemporary irregular conflicts often share a common feature: they are fragmented. States are not facing just one enemy but instead they are facing many, and these actors often have their own internal conflicts as well. Sometimes these organizations hold broadly similar goals, as is the case with Syrian militants who are opposed to the Assad regime. Elsewhere, groups have developed in stark opposition to one another: for example, in Iraq in the mid-2000s when Shiite and Sunni militant groups proliferated to directly counter the other. This type of fragmentation is consequential: there is abundant research to suggest that fragmented conflicts play out in very different ways, with unique patterns of violence and implications for civilians.

Despite the prevalence and impact of fragmentation, academic research and…

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How spy agencies around the world used this company’s software

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I found one line in this article alarming, 35 countries were utilizing surveillance software across 97 Intelligence agencies in those 35 countries..’

Originally posted on Fortune:

Hackers who breached cybersecurity firm Hacking Team earlier this month exposed a trove of sensitive emails detailing the inner workings of the company’s clients: Government spy agencies.

The over one million emails, searchable on the whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks, give a rare look into how countries are using technology to spy on their citizens. The messages show how big an appetite a number of both repressive and democratic governments have for surveillance and how Hacking Team, based in Italy, was more than happy to supply the necessary software.

The firm’s clients include the Sudan’s intelligence service, a Russian arms conglomerate, as well as countries including Uzbekistan, Egypt, and Azerbaijan, according to the Associated Press. The AP report quoted a South Korean National Intelligence Service chief who said that 97 intelligence agencies across 35 countries were using the company’s spy software.

Some of the countries used Hacking Team’s flagship software to…

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The Rise of Consumer Spending

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Are you a citizen of the emerging 750 ?

Originally posted on Longitudes:

Future of Cities2Cities are becoming increasingly powerful centers of economic activity. As more young people move to cities – and the demand for sophisticated labor increases – more wealth will be concentrated in these urban areas. These changes are only expected to accelerate over the next decade.

In fact, Oxford Economics’ Global Cities 2030 report forecasts that by 2030, an estimated 60% of the world’s high-income consumers will live in the world’s top 750 cities.

Economy in flux

Changes in consumer spending patterns will have serious implications for companies preparing their business to thrive in these diverse markets. As the economic landscape changes over the coming years and as cities attract more and more high-powered consumers, companies will need to rethink everything – from their supply chains to the types of products and services they offer across the world.

[pullquote align=right] Changes in consumer spending patterns will have serious implications for companies.[/pullquote]Consumer…

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