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    Grim View of Global Future Offered in Intelligence Report | Political News

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    By ERIC TUCKER, Associated Press

    WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. intelligence officials are painting a dark picture of the world’s future, writing in a report released Thursday that the coronavirus pandemic has deepened economic inequality, strained government resources and fanned nationalist sentiments.

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    Those assessments are included in a Global Trends report by the government’s National Intelligence Council, a document produced every four years. This year’s report is designed to help policymakers and citizens anticipate the economic, environmental, technological and demographic forces likely to shape the world through the next 20 years.

    The document focuses heavily on the impact of the pandemic, calling it the “most significant, singular global disruption since World War II, with health, economic, political, and security implications that will ripple for years to come.”

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    Nations in different parts of the world set new records Thursday for COVID-19 deaths and new infections, underscoring the lingering global toll of the virus.

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    The document finds cause for concern in virtually all aspects of life.

    It warns, for instance, that the effects of climate change are likely to worsen the problem of food and water insecurity in poor countries and hasten global migration. Though health, education and household prosperity have made historic improvements in recent decades, continued progress will be hard to sustain because of “headwinds” not only from the effects of the pandemic but also aging populations and “potentially slower global economic growth.”

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    Advances in technology have the potential to address problems including climate change and disease, but can also provoke new tensions, the report says.

    Follow Eric Tucker on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/etuckerAP

    Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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