Aug. 20, 2016 Aleppo is the center of gravity in the conflict between the Assad loyalists and Syrian rebels. Aleppo is Syria’s largest city and pre-war commercial capital. It is located in the wider province of the same name, which has a long border with Turkey – the rebels’ main staging ground. Many different battles are raging in the province of Aleppo. They involve regime forces, different rebel factions, al-Qaida’s Syrian affiliate, the Islamic State and separatist Kurds.
Jan. 6, 2016 There have been signs of slowing growth in China’s economy. This week, the Chinese stock market plummeted, before rebounding a day later. While the economic impact of these developments is significant, the political ramifications are the greater question. This map shows some of the challenges the government faces in keeping the country together, particularly during a time of declining economic performance. In China, income levels in the western provinces are far lower than the coastal provinces, while the interior of the country is somewhere in the middle. This indicates both that the benefits of the growth period were not evenly distributed and that the coastal area could view the rest of the country as a threat to its economic interests. The government will have to navigate these challenges as economic growth continues to slow down.
Nov. 11, 2016 The Russian economy, which is heavily dependent on revenue from hydrocarbon exports, has suffered since oil prices began to drop in 2014. This chart shows Russian wage growth, interest rates and inflation from August 2015 to July 2016.
GDP per capita in Russia is down from an all-time high of $11,615 in 2013 to $11,038 in 2015. More than 2 million people fell into poverty in 2015 as wages fell by 9 percent. Inflation, which fell from 12.9 percent in December 2015 to 7.4 percent in March 2016, has been the most worrying indicator. As inflation dropped, the central bank resisted calls to cut the interest rate as nominal rages rose more than 5 percent in the first quarter, exceeding the rate of inflation for the first time since 2014.
May 21, 2016 Chinese civilization is one of the world’s oldest. Communities began to form on the Yellow and Yangtze rivers thousands of years ago. By 2,000 B.C., dynasties had emerged and lasted in various forms until the Qing were deposed in 1912. The People’s Republic of China is the heir to this long history, and as is often the case, understanding China’s past is a crucial part of forecasting China’s future.
Although China’s history is long and complex, the story of China’s rise is essentially two stories that repeat themselves over and over again. China is incredibly diverse in terms of the cultures and languages that have developed within its modern-day borders. Despite this diversity, there have been periods when a ruler emerged who was strong enough to unite the disparate parts of the country. These dynasties may rule for hundreds of years, only for China’s internal divisions to reassert themselves and cause fragmentation and regionalization.
May 17, 2016 This map looks at the world from Russia’s point of view. Sometimes the most powerful graphics are not those with special effects or provocative statistics, but rather are those that change your perspective. This is one such map.
The days of the Soviet Union are over and are not about to return. The U.S. is the world’s most powerful country, and unlike during the days of the Cold War, it has no peer. Russia, however, is still a formidable regional power, one that has made headlines in recent years for its military actions in Georgia, Ukraine and Syria. Much of the coverage you’ll read about Russia centers on President Vladimir Putin – his skill as a leader and the extent to which many Russians love and admire their leader and their country.