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Each week, we break down international news into our four quadrants of risk and present ways to mitigate those risks. 

Hazard and Event Risks

The World Health Organization (WHO) reported on key information regarding the cholera epidemic that has broken out in the Democratic Republic of Congo. According to official estimates, the disease has so far affected 20 of 26 provinces, with a total of 528 deaths, since the beginning of 2017. The upcoming referendum on Kurdish independence in the semi-autonomous Kurdish region of Iraq was officially rejected by Iraq’s parliament last week. In Mexico, the Ministry of Communications and Transport stated that at least 26% (34 out of 130) of the Federal Highway Network faces structural damage.

Market and Economic Risks

- An advisor to Japan’s Financial Services Agency reported that the consolidation of regional banks in Japan is unavoidable given the "rapidly aging population and ultra-low interest rates." U.S. President Donald Trump last week blocked Chinese investor Canyon Bridge Partners from buying into the U.S. semiconductor manufacturer Lattice Semiconductor Corp. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is considering extending its cut on oil production by three months, in an attempt to increase global oil prices. The Ministry of Economy and Finance in Peru has made the requirements for tax amnesty more flexible, experts claim that the law requires numerous clarifications.

Operational and Physical Risks

The European Union has urged China to lift its national ban on imports of French and Italian cheese, including Brie, Camembert, Gorgonzola, and Roquefort. The general director of Mexican Petroleum (Pemex), Jose Antonio Gonzalez Anaya, announced that the Antonio Dovali refinery located in Salina Cruz, Oaxaca state, will suspend activities for the next 2-3 weeks. Local media reported in Columbia that at least 1,500 miners joined a strike in San Roque and Santo Domingo complexes against AngloGold Ashanti Corporation, demanding a series of economic compensations.

Technology and Information Risks

Per a report by cyber-security firm Kaspersky Lab, a new malware called Xafecopy Trojan has been detected that steals money through mobile phones. Per media reports,  Facebook has tightened its rules on advertising following allegations that personnel were using “fake news and sensational headlines to cash in on revenues.”  

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