Early Warning for 22 January 2018

warning

Early Warning is a daily intelligence report published each morning at 8am CST that alerts readers to the largest events that happened overnight and the developments expected to shape the day. Published via the web and also made available through email, Early Warning is available for both Strategic Intelligence and National Intelligence subscribers.

Here’s your Early Warning for Monday, 22 January 2018.

Over the weekend, antifascist activists attacked and hospitalized a 56-year old man in New York City as he was coming from a conservative gala. Two other attendees were also injured in the fight. A Night for Freedom featured several controversial speakers and hundreds of attendees who celebrated President Trump’s first year in office. As the event ended and attendees began to leave, antifascist activists outside harassed and attacked event goers. One antifascist attacker — David Campbell of Crown Heights, Brooklyn — was arrested on a slew of charges. (Analyst Comment: Mainstream media’s attempts to characterize this as an “Alt-Right” event are incorrect. Every speaker is on record as opposing the Alt-Right. This was a “New Right” event, a movement focused on conservatism and civic nationalism.) [source]

After failing to come to an agreement over the weekend, Congress is still working on an end to the government shutdown which starts in earnest this morning. A Senate vote is set for noon, although there are still some sticking points for Republicans. At the heart of the battle is Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, an Obama-era executive order protecting some 800,000 illegal immigrants brought to the U.S. as minors. Beyond that is disagreement over Children’s Health Insurance Program, or CHIP, funding for the border wall, and bringing an end to chain migration, which would allow DACA recipients to sponsor family members, numbering in the millions, to come to the United States legally. The Senate requires 60 votes to pass a continuing resolution, and although there has been some bipartisan support for a resolution, most Democrats are holding the country hostage in support of mass immigration to the United States.

So far, the U.S. stock market hasn’t reacted as negatively to the shutdown as some Democrats have hoped. This is in part because the global economy has strong growth, however, this is a big week for fourth quarter 2017 earnings reports. Should major U.S. corporations meet or exceed Wall Street expectations, there should be less pessimism about the shutdown. But if U.S. corporations underperform expectations, then we could see some downside volatility.

The World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland starts today. The annual gathering of world leaders and economic elites focuses each year on identifying what’s wrong with the global economy, and features a series of speakers that might present a roadmap for greater economic cooperation around the world. President Trump is scheduled to speak there on Friday, as long as a solution to the government shut down is found before then.

Last night, two ‘improvised explosive devices’ exploded at Eagle Ridge Mall in Lake Wales, Florida. No one was injured when the devices went off around 5:30pm Sunday night. After the mall was evacuated investigators found two pipe bombs and a backpack that may have had additional bombs or bomb-making material. Police are looking for a middle aged white man who was seen running from the mall before the bombs went off. [source]

China nearly tripled the frequency of air force and navy movements in 2017, as compared to 2016. After U.S. officials released an updated National Defense Strategy last week, which has a heavy focus on countering Moscow and Beijing, China is calling for an end to the U.S. “Cold War” mentality. This comes as Taiwan and Japan both expand their defensive postures against Chinese military expansion. The U.S. National Science Foundation recently released their “Science and Engineering Indicators” report, reaching a conclusion that China is poised to become a technological superpower that challenges U.S. historical dominance. And I would share that report with you, however, the NSF website is down due to the government shutdown. Here’s the link in Congress comes to a resolution today: https://www.nsf.gov/statistics/2018/nsb20181/

 

Critical Intelligence:

 

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Samuel Culper is a former military intelligence NCO and contract Intelligence analyst. He spent three years in Iraq and Afghanistan and is now the intelligence and warfare researcher at Forward Observer.

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