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Hazard & Event Risk:

– On Monday last week, thousands of Bolivians took to the streets to protest against President Evo Morales’ attempt to get re-elected for a fourth consecutive term.
– In Honk Kong, a health risk warning was issued as the Environmental Protection Department said that the pollution level was “higher than normal.” 
– Per reports on January 25, the water level in Cape Town, South Africa’s main dam is lower than expected.

Operational & Physical Risk:

– Per reports on January 22, 2018, crew members of TAP Air Portugal have announced that they will partake in a strike from February 9-11, unless an agreement is reached between the government and the airline regarding fair working conditions.
– In the United States, information about the State of Maine’s 2017 report on tick-borne illnesses was published. 2017 was the record year in reported cases of Lyme disease in Maine concluding with 1,787 cases, 323 more than 2016. 
– On January 25, 2018, the New England Journal of Medicine published a study from researchers at the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES) and Public Health Ontario (PHO) that suggests influenza (flu) causes an increased risk of a heart attack.

Market & Economic Risk:

– The sixth round of negotiations on the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) commenced on January 23, 2018, in Montreal, Canada, with the Canadian team proposing ideas to save the agreement. 
– Experts in the fuel industry in Argentina have reported that oil prices are expected to significantly rise in the immediate future. 
– On January 24, 2018, Mexico’s Minister of Energy, Pedro Joaquin Coldwell announced that the next auction for oil field exploitation would take place in July 2018.
– Recently, the Sri Lanka-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (SLSFTA) was signed following many rounds of negotiations. The deal is likely to facilitate trade flow between the two countries by allowing greater access to each other’s markets in various sectors; better access to services markets is also likely.

Technology & Information Risk:

– Per reports this month, ransomware is spreading that encrypts new files created after the system is infected; the “Rapid Ransomware” has been infecting systems since early January.
– Per Russian media reports on January 25, 2018, cyber-security firm Kaspersky Labs has identified a new trojan called Mezzo. Reportedly, the trojan enables malicious actors to obtain victims’ financial data, and could potentially be used to steal virtual and conventional currency by falsifying information in files exchanged between accounting and banking systems when using accounting software.
– The European Commission (EC) has said that small businesses might not be prepared for the upcoming General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which is likely to be implemented from May 25, 2018.

Podcast Week of January 29, 2018

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