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This year will be less less risky than 2017, according to an AI-driven forecast, mainly because the world is already accustomed to the volatility created by Brexit and Donald Trump, and nothing like their rattling victories is likely to recur.

Expand chart
Reproduced from GeoQuant; Chart: Axios Visuals

Mark Rosenberg, the CEO of GeoQuant, whose forecasts combine AI-driven data and analysis by political scientists, says last year was much more volatile than 2015 or 2016. But since the world has already taken stock of Brexit and Trump, that makes those lower risks in 2018, according to GeoQuant's report.

  • And the world is unlikely to be broadsided by anything as dramatic this year. "There is a stabilization effect by virtue of last year's uniqueness," he said. "You do get a relative reduction of risk, leaving it at a high level. There is more stability in an unstable world."

Here are some geopolitical forecasts from Rosenberg's bot and analysts:

  • Russia's Vladimir Putin will lay low as far as foreign adventures go, and stick to winning a decisive re-election in March before cracking down on perceived disloyal elites.
  • China's Xi Jinping, too, will generally not seek to capitalize on perceived U.S. geopolitical weakness—he won't make a dramatic power grab in the South China Sea or Taiwan. Rather, Xi will spend a conservative year of consolidating what's already been gained.
  • Democrats are favored in the U.S. midterm elections, but the data is inconclusive at this stage as to who will control Congress. The GOP and Trump are 6.5% weaker than the Democrats were at the time of the November 2016 election, but 2% stronger than when Democrat Doug Jones won an upset in the Alabama Senate election last month. For comparison, about 15% would indicate heavy weakness.

And in business:

  • Stock market gains are unlikely to be as strong this year as in 2017, when the S&P 500 rose by 19% and the Dow by 25%.

Go deeper

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Prime Minsiter Boris Johnson. Photo: NurPhoto / Getty Images

A new national lockdown will be imposed in England, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced Saturday, as the number of COVID-19 cases in the country topped 1 million.

Details: Starting Thursday, people in England must stay at home, and bars and restaurants will close, except for takeout and deliveries. All non-essential retail will also be shuttered. Different households will be banned from mixing indoors. International travel, unless for business purposes, will be banned. The new measures will last through at least December 2.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

The massive early vote

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Early voting in the 2020 election across the U.S. on Saturday had already reached 65.5% of 2016's total turnout, according to state data compiled by the U.S. Elections Project.

Why it matters: The coronavirus pandemic and its resultant social-distancing measures prompted a massive uptick in both mail-in ballots and early voting nationwide, setting up an unprecedented and potentially tumultuous count in the hours and days after the polls close on Nov. 3.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

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  3. Economy: Conference Board predicts economy won’t fully recover until late 2021.
  4. Technology: Fully at-home rapid COVID test to move forward.
  5. States: New York rolls out new testing requirements for visitors.