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Spectators watch the first sunrise of the new year at the Lincoln Memorial yesterday. Photo: J. David Ake / AP

First look at a dire warning from one of the top analysts of global trends — Ian Bremmer, president and founder of Eurasia Group, and Eurasia Group Chairman Cliff Kupchan are out this morning with their "Top Risks" report for 2018:

The big picture: "2018 doesn't feel good. Yes, markets are soaring and the economy isn't bad, but citizens are divided. Governments aren't doing much governing. And the global order is unraveling."

Why it matters: "In the 20 years since we started Eurasia Group, ... if we had to pick one year for a big unexpected crisis ... it feels like 2018. Sorry ... Last year, we wrote that the world was entering a period of geopolitical recession. ... The world is now closer to geopolitical depression than to a reversion to past stability."

Among the risks that are worrying Bremmer and his colleagues:

  • China loves a vacuum: "China is setting international standards [on trade and investment, tech, values, and security] with less resistance than ever before."
  • Accidents: "It's impossible to ignore the risk of a major crisis today, because there are too many places where a misstep or misjudgment could provoke serious international conflict."
  • Global tech cold war: "Achieving dominance in emerging technologies is the world's most important battle for economic power."
  • Erosion of institutions: "Conflict will become more frequent, decision-making degraded, and internal chaos common."
  • "[T]his is a White House that's headed toward massive distraction from a Mueller investigation."

And maybe the most sobering of all: "The decline of U.S. influence in the world will accelerate in 2018."

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - World

Biden reviews U.S. arms deals with Saudi Arabia and UAE

Trump struck several large arms deals with Mohammed bin Salman (L) and Saudi Arabia. Photo: Kevin Dietsch-Pool/Getty Images

The Biden administration has put on hold two big arms deals with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates which were approved in the final weeks of the Trump administration, a State Department official told Axios.

Why it matters: The sales of F-35 jets and attack drones to the UAE and a large supply of munitions to Saudi Arabia will be paused pending a review. That signals a major policy shift from the Trump era, and may herald sharp tensions with both Gulf countries.

Trump supporter found with pipe bombs accused of plot to attack Democrats

Five improvised explosive devices that the FBI says "were fully operational and could cause great bodily harm or injury if handled improperly." Photo: FBI/Justice Department

The FBI believes California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) and the Bay Area headquarters of Twitter and Facebook were targets of a man facing federal explosives charges, according to a criminal complaint.

Driving the news: Prosecutors charged Ian Benjamin Rogers after finding weapons including five pipe bombs, 49 guns and thousands of rounds of ammunition following a Jan. 15 search of his Napa County home and auto repair business. His alleged goal was to ensure former President Trump remained in office.

6 hours ago - Health

Fauci: COVID vaccine rollout needs to prioritize people of color

Anthony Fauci. Photo: Alex Wong via Getty Images

Infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci highlighted the need to address racial disparities in the COVID-19 vaccination process, per an interview with The New England Journal of Medicine on Wednesday.

What he’s saying: "I think that's the one thing we really got to be careful of. We don't want in the beginning ... most of the people who are getting it are otherwise, well, middle-class white people."