International News Coverage
Middle East, Terrorism and Counterterrorism
Yemeni president decides to withdraw resignation: advisor
Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi has decided to withdraw his resignation to continue to serve the country, a president advisor told Xinhua on Sunday.
Menendez could delay Iran sanctions measure until March
Kristina Wong / The Hill
Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) is considering delaying the introduction of his Iran sanctions bill until March, which would give him more time to gather support from wavering Democrats, according to a recent interview.
ISIS Twitter Acct. Claims 2 Japanese Hostages Have Been Executed, Video In ‘Production’
Grant / Breaking 911
On Tuesday, ISIS released a video threatening to kill the two men — Kenji Goto and Haruna Yukawa — unless Japan paid the group $200 million within 72 hours.
Japan condemns IS execution, demands remaining hostage release
Linda Sieg and Kiyoshi Takenaka / Reuters
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Sunday called the killing of a Japanese captive by Islamic State militants “outrageous” and again demanded the group release a second Japanese national they are holding.
Japan seeks Jordan’s help on gaining hostage’s release
Elaine Kurtenbach / Associated Press
Japan sought help from Jordan and other countries Monday in its race to save a hostage held by the extremist Islamic State group, with no signs of progress on securing his release.
Obama: Counterterrorism Operations In Yemen Not Affected
Julie Pace and Anne Flaherty / The Huffington Post
President Barack Obama defended his counterterrorism strategy in tumultuous Yemen Sunday, saying efforts to root out a dangerous al-Qaida affiliate there would not be affected by the political vacuum in the country.
Senators: More US special ops troops may be needed in Yemen
Associated Press / Stars and Stripes
Two influential senators are calling on President Barack Obama to send more U.S. ground troops to hotspots around the Middle East.
Greece Chooses Anti-Austerity Party in Major Shift
Jim Yardley and Liz Alderman / The New York Times
Greece rejected the harsh economics of austerity on Sunday and sent a warning to the rest of Europe as the left-wing Syriza party won a decisive victory in national elections, positioning its tough-talking leader, Alexis Tsipras, to become the next prime minister.
Remarks at the World Economic Forum
John Kerry / U.S. Department of State
The rise of violent extremism is a challenge to the nation state and the global rule of law. And the forces that contribute to it and the dangers that flow from it compel us to prepare and plan, to unite, and to insist that our collective future will be uncompromised by the primitive and paranoid ideas of terrorists, but instead it will be built by the universal values of decency and civility, and knowledge and reason and law.
Army looking to store tanks, equipment in Eastern Europe
John Vandiver and Michael Darnell / Stars and Stripes
U.S. Army Europe will soon dispatch a survey team to eastern Europe to scout locations for tanks and other military hardware as part of a broader effort to bolster the U.S. military presence in a region rattled by Russia’s intervention in Ukraine, the Army’s top commander in Europe said Friday.
Strategic city falls in Nigeria’s battle against Boko Haram
Aminu Abubakar / CNN
Hundreds of Boko Haram gunmen on Sunday launched a predawn attack on the Nigerian city of Maiduguri and were locked in a fierce battle with government troops on the outskirts of the city, according to the military, residents and citizen vigilantes.
U.S. says it’s not clear after Cuba talks if new reform-promotion policy will work
Associated Press / The Japan Times
The highest-ranking U.S. official to visit Cuba in more than three decades said Friday that two days of talks on re-establishing full diplomatic relations had left her with no sense of whether the new U.S. policy of engagement would achieve its goal of generating reforms that benefit the Cuban people.
Obama reveals nuclear breakthrough on landmark India trip
Roberta Rampton / Sanjeev Miglani
In a glow of bonhomie, U.S. President Barack Obama and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled plans to unlock billions of dollars in nuclear trade and to deepen defense ties, steps they hope will establish an enduring strategic partnership.
China sneers at Obama visit, calls India-US ties superficial
Sutirtho Patranobis / Hindustan Times
China on Sunday said President Barack Obama’s visit to New Delhi would remain a symbolic exercise because of the superficial nature of US-India relations.
Re-listing N.K. as terror sponsor to complicate inter-Korean ties: CRS report
Yonhap News Agency
Putting North Korea back on the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism would complicate not only future diplomatic initiatives between Washington and Pyongyang, but also Seoul’s efforts to improve relations with Pyongyang, according to a U.S. congressional report.
Energy Security, Science and Technology, Climate Change
NSA reform still cyber bill’s biggest hurdle
Cory Bennett / The Hill
Lawmakers’ enthusiasm for passing a cybersecurity bill will face a major hurdle this summer — National Security Agency (NSA) reform.
SpaceX and Air Force make peace, more rocket launches now up for grabs
Mariella Moon / Engadget
SpaceX and the US Air Force have reached an agreement regarding a lawsuit filed by the former, but really, it’s more of a victory for Elon Musk’s company.
Virtual Games Try To Generate Real Empathy for Faraway Conflict
James Delahoussaye / NPR
Video games are great for passing time or battling monsters with friends online. But the medium is also being used to explore complex stories and themes. It’s even being used as form of journalistic storytelling, immersing people in places and events that can be hard to imagine.
Obama Will Move to Protect Vast Arctic Habitat in Alaska
Coral Davenport / The New York Times
President Obama will ask Congress to increase environmental protections for millions of acres of pristine animal habitat in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska, in a move that has already led to fierce opposition from the state’s Republican lawmakers.
On Our Flashpoint Blog
Countering terror, and the wider challenges in the Middle East
Four key events happened in regard to the Middle East and our own national security last week.
In the Middle East, Water Security IS Energy Security
ASP defines energy security as “the ability for a country to act in its foreign policy independently of how it uses energy domestically.” Countries in the Middle East are finding this concept increasingly difficult to implement due to intensifying resource-based challenges. Specifically, many of these countries are running out of water.
Green Bonds for Clean Energy
The promise and potential of alternative energy is rapidly becoming a reality. In the manufacture of green technology, the United States has a clear opportunity for significant export growth and global leadership. This sector is also becoming a sound investment. The issuance of “Green Bonds”, investment instruments of which proceeds are dedicated to the advancement of alternative energy initiatives, has skyrocketed in just a few years.
Risk is a Process, Not an Event
Certain types of risk are acute in nature, but all risk lives along a continuum that is shaped by time and is compounded by action (or inaction). Nassim Taleb in his books Black Swan and Antifragile popularized the notion that fat-tailed (or leptokurtic) events are not as rare as once thought, calling for new frameworks for coping with their likelihood and, critically, surviving them altogether.
5 Key World News Stories
Conference – Energy Security in the Caribbean: Unique Challenges
February 4 @ 12:00pm – 5:00pm
Join ASP as we host a conference on February 4, 2015, discussing the challenges facing the Caribbean in securing their energy future and how to move forward in the years to come.
ASP Recently Published
Libya: On the Brink
This report analyzes the recent events that have placed Libya on its current path. In order to understand events on the ground, this report includes a breakdown of key Libyan parties and figures as well as an examination of the economic and energy dimensions of the conflict. The report then concludes with a look forward for Libya and recommendations for the U.S. and international community.
U.S. Fusion Program Recommendations
Caroline Julia von Wurden and Andrew Holland
This report on fusion energy is informed by a roundtable discussion of fusion energy that was hosted by ASP on December 4, 2014. The report goes on to explain the potential benefits of fusion energy in the U.S. as a safe and clean source of power, but only if certain barriers to the implementation of this technology are overcome.