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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

Per media reports last last month, Australia is facing what could be the worst flu season recorded. At least 170,000 cases have been confirmed this flu season, which is 2.5 times more than the cases reported in 2016. - The official Saudi Press Agency reported that 22 people had been arrested for “inciting public feelings” on social media, one of which was a Qatari national. - Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajeet Pai proposed providing 77 million US Dollars to fund repairs to communication networks in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands that were damaged by hurricanes in 2017. - Late last month, Air France Flight 66 en route from Paris to Los Angeles lost an engine while over the Atlantic Ocean and was forced to land in Goose Bay, Labrador, Canada. Pinkerton finds it likely that Air France will curtail flights for the A-380 aircraft in its fleet until it inspects their engines for flaws that would lead to similar incidents. - El Salvador has experienced a sharp increase in the number of murders throughout the country in the past three weeks. This escalation has broken the decreasing trend that had been occurring since the beginning of 2017.

Technology and Information Risks

Cyber-security firm Wordfence announced last week it has has discovered zero-day flaws in three WordPress plugins. - IB, a cyber-security firm, indicated the vulnerabilities of the financial sector with respect to the massive cyber-attacks sponsored by political groups. According to Verizon reports, the financial sector is ranked in the first position with regard to cyber-security threats during 2017.

Operational and Physical Risks

Per reports last week, the government of India has taken steps toward strategic stake sales in five major companies, as part of its disinvestment plans for public sector organizations. - Telecommunications companies in India may layoff nearly 150,000 direct and indirect jobs in the industry due to mounting debt and continuing losses. - In Malaysia, authorities are investigating an embezzlement case involving senior officials siphoning off at least 100 million MYR or 23.7 million US Dollars. - Earlier this month, Catalan voters defied the Spanish constitutional court’s ban on the Catalonian Independence referendum by taking to the polls. - Mexican media reported severe damages in the local and federal road network of the state of Oaxaca after the rainy season and the 8.2-magnitude earthquake registered on September 7.

Market and Economic Risks

The European Union Commission has proposed plans to reform the Value Added Tax (VAT). This is the first time that a VAT reform has been discussed in the last 25 years. - In Columbia, the ongoing strike organized by 730 pilots of Avianca Airways this month has caused a sharp increase in airfare tickets throughout the country, especially on routes that are traditionally operated by the national airline and flag carrier of Colombia.  

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