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Intelligence advice for next president: Rocky road ahead

Published:Monday | March 14, 2016 | 3:03 PM

WASHINGTON (AP):

A new, gloomy intelligence report released yesterday forecasts a sluggish world economy, political unrest and disillusionment with the status quo across the globe during the next five years and beyond.

Insecurity will deepen rifts among social classes and religious groups and extremists will consolidate into large-scale networks across Africa, the Arab world and parts of Asia, according to the global trends report written by the National Intelligence Council.

The report said slow growth in China will weigh down economic growth in the rest of the world. Competition among the US, China and Russia will heat up, raising the risk of future confrontations. And technological advances will force governments and their citizens to wrestle with securing data, privacy, intellectual property and jobs lost to high-tech innovations.

The council, part of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, serves as a bridge between intelligence agencies and policymakers. Its global trends report is compiled every four years so it can be handed to an incoming president or to the incumbent. A summary of a draft of its latest findings was released yesterday to coincide with a panel discussion at the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas.

These trends follow 20 years of unprecedented reductions in poverty and increased access to education and information, which have empowered citizens around the world.