Monitor

2018 hurricane season

2018 Atlantic Hurricane Forecast

The 2017 Atlantic hurricane season saw an above average number of systems and is regarded as the costliest hurricane season on record. Of the 17 named systems that developed during the 2017 season, 10 reached hurricane-strength. Six of the storms reached major (Category 3 or above) hurricane strength. Billions of dollars of damages were inflicted in the US and Caribbean, with much of the destruction attributed to hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria. 
Satellite image of Southern California wildfires driven by Santa Ana winds

Santa Ana Winds: The Perfect Ingredient for Extreme Fire Conditions

Firefighting crews in Southern California are hard at work battling destructive wildfires that ignited Dec. 4-6 in Los Angeles and Ventura counties. As of Dec. 7, nearly 190,000 residents in both counties were ordered to evacuate ahead of the fast-moving fires. Four large fires of note - the Thomas Fire in Ventura County and the Rye Fire, Creek Fire, and Skirball Fire in Los Angeles County - have burned a combined 46,943 hectares (116,000 acres). While personnel are working to restrict fire growth, containment of these major fires is still in its early stages. Since Dec. 4, weather conditions in Los Angeles and Ventura counties have hampered the success of firefighters. The US National Weather Service (NWS) maintains a Red Flag warning for both counties, meaning that conditions will be ideal for wildfire ignition and rapid spread. Strong winds, known as Santa Ana winds, are the leading cause of the recent wildfire outbreak.
2017 Atlantic hurricane season map

Threat Exists for Above Average Atlantic Hurricane Season in 2018

The conclusion of the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season on Nov. 30 likely comes as welcome news to those who were impacted by tropical activity in the US, Caribbean, and Central America. While individuals should take advantage of this respite in activity to rebuild devastated communities, it is never too early to start thinking about next year's hurricane season. Individuals and organizations with tropical vulnerabilities should remain vigilant and review contingency plans, particularly following the hyperactive 2017 Atlantic hurricane season.

North Korea: Security Situation in Northeast Asia to Remain Stable, despite Heated Rhetoric and US Military Maneuvers

Inflamed rhetoric from North Korea and the US has spiked tensions on the Korean Peninsula and alarmed Northeast Asia. The US has threatened pre-emptive action to thwart a nuclear weapons test widely expected by the end of April. North Korean officials have charged that they would also pre-emptively strike if faced with the imminent prospect of a US attack. US President Donald Trump has ordered the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson to the Sea of Japan in a show of force against North Korea...

Turkey & the Netherlands Diplomatic Row: Latest Update

The political row that recently erupted between the Netherlands and Turkey is already showing signs of settling into a war of words, accompanied by largely symbolic diplomatic tit-for-tat measures. Despite harshly worded threats by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to implement strong reprisals against the government in The Hague, Ankara is unlikely to enact serious sanctions that would severely hamper Dutch business interests in Turkey.
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What the Fed Hike Really Means for Emerging Markets

On Wednesday, the US Federal Reserve raised the federal funds rate target range to .75%-1%, up from 0.5%. The announcement followed the release of an impressive ADP job report last week, which documented 289,000 jobs added to the US economy in February, 100,000 above the expected level. The report also noted personal consumption expenditure policymakers preferred barometer of inflation to be finally nearing the Feds 2% target, while prospects of a large fiscal stimulus under President Donald Trump is mounting additional pressure on the Fed to begin its series of anticipated hikes to plan accordingly for higher growth (and inflation) in 2018 and 2019.

Revised US Executive Order to Prohibit Entry to US by Citizens of Six Countries; Implementation Scheduled for March 16

The US government issued a revised executive order on March 6 after legal challenges against a Jan. 27 order. The new directive will ban citizens of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen from entering the US for 90 days; the administration of President Donald Trump removed Iraq from the list of blacklisted countries following negotiations with the Iraqi government, and in light of its role in fighting the Islamic State in conjunction with US forces.
executive-order

Update: Executive Order on Travel Restrictions

iJET's intelligence team with guest speaker Alejandro N. Mayorkas, former Deputy Secretary of the US Department of Homeland Security hosted a webinar update focussed on the Executive Order on travel restrictions. The panel addressed known and potential impacts for global businesses and the travel industry and provided an update on the current state of legal proceedings generated by the order. Watch Now. 

Citizens of Seven Countries Barred Entry to US by Executive Order; Reciprocal Bans Being Adopted or Considered

On Jan. 27, the US government issued an executive order banning citizens of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen from entering the US for at least 90 days; all Syrian citizens are barred until further notice. The order also suspends the US Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) for 120 days. The Trump Administration has stated that more countries could be added to the travel ban via a presidential proclamation. Reciprocal travel restrictions are possible for US citizens traveling to the blacklisted countries.

South Korea: Major Business Disruptions Unlikely despite Presidential Impeachment

The possible departure of President Park could significantly impact domestic and foreign policy, as the scandal has thrown the country's political alliances into disarray at a time when conditions already suggest that the opposition could win the next presidential election. The impeachment process and movement to oust Park will prolong uncertainty in the country in the short term; however, there is likely to be little impact on companies with operations in South Korea.

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