- Recession ending but growth still slow: PM Shinzo Abe’s plans (Abenomics) for reviving the economy have had mixed results.
- Minuses: Government debt remains large and a problem, so budget reform urgently required, but apparently not happening fast enough.
- Pluses: Positive consumer sentiment, exports healthy despite global wobblies as China slows.
- Looks like military and political stalemate.
- Military: Increased (covert) supply of missiles to selected rebel groups has stalled Russia-backed Assad advances.
- Political: Putin's negotiating position therefore weakened.
- Yes, as China flexes its muscles, neighbours look towards US.
- Closer military co-operation with Australia, Philippines, Japan over last 2 years.
- Malaysia also moving closer to US.
- Coming via Turkey - and part sponsored by Saudi Arabia.
- Recipients vetted by CIA operatives first, i.e. to get resupplied, recipients need to show video footage of successes and need to return spent cartridges.
- Program seems to be successfully holding off Russian-backed Assad advances.
- China cutting interest rates.
- Europe and UK extending monetary easing (QE) so interest rates lower.
- US Fed is only large central bank poised to raise interest rates.
- Aung San Suu Kyi's opposition party's (NLD) historic win against ruling military-backed elite.
- Despite landslide electoral win, 25% of parliamentary seats are allocated to the military, so they will have huge influence.
- So she will need to work with them.
- French special forces have been tracking ISIS militants in the Sahara since 2013.
- France was the first EU country to join the US air strikes on ISIS in Iraq in 2014.
- France is the only EU country to have joined the US air strikes on ISIS in Syria in 2015.