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Death on the Nile?

The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), which began construction in 2011, is nearing completion, including the filling of a reservoir necessary to provide water flow for an electric power project. This development provides Ethiopia major leverage over the countries downriver and could boost Addis Ababa’s power throughout Africa. The GERD also raises the delicate long-term issue of food security for Egypt and Sudan, two countries with large and growing populations which have long histories of drought, famine and flooding.

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Sovereign Ratings Watch: Japan – Under Pressure

A COVID-19 pandemic, rising business bankruptcies, pressure on government finances, a global economic meltdown and an increasingly tenser relationship with China – what else could go wrong for Japan? Apparently, there is one more thing: Fitch has changed its outlook for Japan’s “A” sovereign rating from stable to negative. Moody’s rates Japan “A1” (stable) and S&P gives Japan a sovereign rating at “A+” (stable). We think it is possible to see Moody’s and S&P follow with negative outlooks later in the year. Smith’s shares many of the same concerns with Fitch about Japan’s credit picture and has a negative outlook. Moreover, Japan’s deteriorating creditworthiness is significant in that the Asia-Pacific country is the world’s third largest economy, a leading exporter and staunch U.S. ally. The deeper Japan sinks, the messier Asia’s geopolitical landscape becomes.

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Beirut’s Agony: Ports, Food, and China

On August 4th the port of Beirut was the scene of a horrific explosion, which killed more than 150 people, injured 6,000 and left some 300,000 homeless. The damages are estimated to be in excess of $15 billion. The city’s hospitals, already struggling due to the COVID-19 pandemic, were damaged by the blast and swamped with injured. On top of already raging economic and political crises, the explosion now raises the question of food security. Prior to the explosion, 80 percent of Lebanon’s imports passed through Beirut’s port. Without a functioning port in Beirut, the country now relies on a handful of secondary ports, chief among them being Tripoli in the north, to import food and to export its products.

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Delta Air Lines, Inc — LaGuardia Airport Terminals C&D Redevelopment Project

In voting conducted by institutional investors, The 2018 All-Star Deal of the Year was awarded to the New York Transportation Development Corporation for the Delta Airlines, Inc - LaGuardia Airport Terminals C&D Redevelopment Project.

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SpaceX blasts through a major milestone with first manned mission

This joint public/private venture between NASA and SpaceX begins a new chapter in space exploration. How will this effect future commercial demands in space?

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A New World Taking Shape in the Mist

Summary: It is difficult to escape coronavirus. Between the major cable networks running scoreboards numbering the infected and dead and the barrage of stories on social media, the virus dominates the news flow. The only other major story beyond coronavirus is the oil price war between Russia and Saudi Arabia, which is causing a considerable amount of discomfort in the U.S. and Canadian oil patches. The virus and the oil price war are a one-two punch to the global economy and are reshaping the world. As 2020 plays out, our approach to cross-border economic relations, travel, urban planning, healthcare and the structure of daily life is changing. The bottom line is that coronavirus is the black swan that most of us failed to see.

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