The US Designates Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as Foreign Terrorist Organization

The US designation of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) – a force of 125,000 that encompasses land, air, and naval units – as a foreign terrorist organization (FTO) April 15 is highly unlikely to alter Iran's behavior in Middle Eastern countries where Iran is heavily involved. The move by the US government is also likely to prompt Tehran to engage in retaliatory acts against US interests in the region.

OSAC Introduces New Kidnapping Indicator

The US Department of State’s Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC) added an additional risk indicator for kidnapping and/or hostage taking to their standardized travel advisories April 9. The “K” risk indicator has been established to identify countries that represent a specific threat of kidnapping and/or hostage taking, and are not necessarily applied to all high-threat countries. These risk indicators aid in determining and characterizing travel advisory ratings, are used to denote threat, and provide information and advice on various security concerns on a country-by-country basis.

Unrest Likely Following Proposed Pension Reform in Brazil

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro presented a pension reform bill to Congress Feb. 20. The bill is largely supported by investors and economists as a potential fix to an ailing economy. However, significant backlash from both the political class and the public has followed every attempt at pension reform in recent years, and Bolsonaro’s proposal is already receiving significant criticism. Widespread protests and unrest are likely to materialize throughout 2019 in reaction to the proposed legislative bill. 

 

3 Tips to Keep Valuables Safe While Traveling

When planning a trip, it’s important to consider what items you are taking with you, especially items of value. While you shouldn’t take anything you can’t afford to lose, items like credit cards, passports, electronic equipment, or important documents are necessary to carry while on travel. There’s no sure way to prevent unfortunate incidents from taking place, so it’s important to cover the bases when securing your personal belongings.

Popular Uprising in Sudan

President of Sudan, Omar Al-Bashir, is experiencing one of the most protracted popular uprisings of his three-decade reign. The removal of government subsidies and subsequent price hikes on basic commodities sparked the initial protests on Dec. 19. Although the Sudanese government dismissed them as bread riots and deployed security forces to disperse protesters and discourage future protest actions, the government’s crackdown and inability to articulate a satisfactory response ignited more demonstrations and a nationwide call for Al-Bashir’s ouster.