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    Reflections

    Spanish police seize ballot boxes in a polling station in Barcelona, on Oct. 1, 2017, on the day of a referendum on independence for Catalonia banned by Madrid. And after hundreds were injured in clashes on election day and voting was disrupted so thoroughly that results cannot be considered reliable, it's clear that things in the region will get worse before they get better.
    The flag of the Kurdistan Regional Government hangs in a street in Arbil just a few days before the independence referendum.
    Campaign placards for various parties are seen during German federal elections on Sept. 24, 2017 near Bayrischzell, Germany. Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) won the largest portion of the vote, while another five parties received enough support to gain seats in parliament. With so many voices earning a say, the negotiations could take weeks if not months.
    U.S. President Donald Trump took to the podium today at the U.N. General Assembly in New York to give his first speech at the body of global leaders. The speech -- somewhat reminiscent in tone to his inauguration speech in January -- was Trump's message to the world on what U.S. foreign policy should be under his doctrine of "America First."
    Russian President Vladimir Putin (right) and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (left) share a laugh at the headquarters of worldwide judo community, the Kodokan Judo Institute, on Dec. 16, 2016.
    During a Sept. 5 press conference, Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed that the U.N. Security Council deploy peacekeepers to the front lines of the conflict. But the proposal should be seen more as an attempt to ease pressure from the West -- and particularly Washington -- than a sincere commitment to ending the conflict.
    The BRICS group -- made up of Brazil, Russia, India, China and later South Africa -- were envisioned as a gang of the world's up-and-comers.
    On Aug. 28, the Indian Ministry of External Affairs released a statement saying that a "disengagement" of troops has begun on the Doklam Plateau. The drawdown highlights how the costs of war outweighed the benefits of aggression for both sides.

    Global Perspectives

    Until recently, battery technology just wasn't good enough to store energy on an economical or practical basis.
    Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi inspects an honor guard in London.
    A Palestinian youth poses in front of his national flag during celebrations in Gaza City after rival Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah reached an agreement ending their decadelong split on Oct. 12.
    The leaders of Fatah and Hamas sign a reconciliation deal at the Egyptian intelligence services headquarters in Cairo on Oct. 12, ending their decadelong split.
    Students demonstrate against the Spanish government's decision to ban the Catalan referendum on Sept. 28 in Barcelona.
    Icebergs float in the Jacobshavn Bay near the town of Ilulissat, Greenland.
    Local residents attend a meeting with Kyrgyz opposition lawmaker and presidential candidate Omurbek Babanov in the town of Tokmok.
    University of Chicago Professor Richard Thaler speaks to guests after learning he had been awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics on Oct. 9.
    Stratfor Worldview

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