The items listed below represent potential emerging issues that our analysts are tracking. These can be long term or short term, but will be updated daily. If an item on our Watch List becomes critical, we will email you a full analysis explaining its significance.

Each Saturday, we will follow up our daily Watch List for each week with our conclusions on these issues.

  • China: The New York Times’ lead story is about President Xi Jinping delaying the selection of his successor until after a Communist Party Congress next year. That Xi intends to rule past 2017 is not a secret. What, if anything, is new in this report?
  • Russia: Russia’s Defense Ministry says that Ukrainian security services are planning a “provocation” against Russian forces in southeast Ukraine. What’s the “provocation” in question and could it be used as a pretense for additional conflict?
  • U.K.: At least two cases concerning the status of Northern Ireland in relation to the European Union are making their way up the legal system in the United Kingdom. We’ve already looked at Scotland’s position in all this. Where does Northern Ireland stand? What are its imperatives and what is the potential fallout from these cases?
  • East Asia: The World Bank slightly increased its forecasts for growth in East Asia for 2016 and 2017. That is inconsistent with growth forecast numbers released by the World Trade Organization (WTO) last week. What is the World Bank seeing differently than the WTO when it comes to East Asia’s national economies?
  • Iraq: A pro-Kurdish website says that a U.S. airstrike accidentally hit a group of Shiite Iraqi militia fighters, killing 20. Is there any potential fallout from this mistake in Iraq? Could there be an impact on relations between the U.S. and Iran, between the U.S. and Iraq or between any other parties?
  • Saudi Arabia: Saudi Arabia is conducting naval exercises. Iran has warned the Saudis not to get too close to Iranian territorial waters. Is there anything more here than chest-thumping?
  • Kazakhstan: The employees of an oil service company in western Kazakhstan have been on strike for several days. Is this a limited occurrence or does it have the potential to spread?