- UK: Tactical (short-term) accommodation with strategic (long-term) economic aim (securing trade & investment relationship).
- US: Tactical & strategic balance between accommodation (e.g. economics), pressure (e.g. human rights) & resistance (e.g. to Chinese maritime claims).
- US concerned about UK sacrificing principle for commerce and withdrawing from international geopolitical stage.
- Deepest recession since 1930s persists.
- Due to end of commodities boom, fiscal mismanagement and political infighting hindering reform.
- Political crisis over corruption at state-owned petrol company continues unabated.
- Jul-Sep still robust - at annualised 6.9%
- But more recent data suggests slower growth and more deflation to come.
- Rebalancing (i.e. transition from investment-driven manufacturing power-house to consumption-driven service economy) happening slower than expected.
- Branch of Sunni Islam - described as "orthodox" and "ultraconservative".
- Saudi Arabia's dominant faith.
- Al Qaeda, the Taliban & ISIS draw on Wahhabism for their ideologies.
- Two thirds of economists polled by FT expect it to happen in December.
- Markets expect it to happen in 1Q16.
- Unusually hard call to make as US growth data sending mixed messages amid noise created by strong $ and financial market volatility.
- Down to $3.5tn from $4tn in June 2014.
- Fall due to China supporting renminbi (i.e. buying renminbi and selling US$ when downward pressure on renminbi).
- Downward pressure on renminbi due to capital outflows as China economy slows and foreign investors leave.
- Official UK policy of closer economic ties.
- China PM Xi in UK this week as two Chinese groups take stakes in UK nuclear industry.
- US critical saying might cause problems for the UK in the future (e.g. in times of global tension, UK would have a problem if China owns part of UK energy industry).
- Ostensibly taking on ISIS (Sunni extremists).
- But in reality seems to be backing Assad regime & Shia allies (Iran + Iraq) against Sunni rebels.
- Putin wants Syria to remain under Russian sphere of influence.
-  Assad regime vs. the Syrian people.
-  Sunni/Shia sectarian war (Iran/Iraq/Syria vs. Saudi Arabia/Qatar/Jordan/Turkey).  Regional war for power, i.e. Iran vs. Saudi Arabia.
-  ISIS vs. everyone else (i.e. Sunni extremists vs. everyone else).  United States vs Russia.
- Aleppo = Syria's largest urban centre and is mainly controlled by anti-regime rebel groups - they are being sandwiched from:
- The south: Russia bombing has allowed advances by government forces and allied Iran-backed militias.
- The north: ISIS advancing.