Analysis: Despite Saudi strikes, Yemen rebels remain dug in
Hamza Hendawi and Ahmed Al-Haj / Associated Press
More than a month of relentless airstrikes by a coalition led by Saudi Arabia has inflicted painful damage on Shiite rebels in Yemen, but they show little sign of collapse.
Report: 2.2 million Iraqis displaced by Islamic State group
Conflicts and violence worldwide displaced a record 38 million people in 2014, with 2.2 million Iraqis alone forced to flee the Islamic State group, a Norwegian humanitarian group report released Wednesday revealed.
These U.S. airmen refused to be taken hostage in Afghanistan. Now they’ll get valor awards.
Dan Lamothe / Washington Post
On Sept. 27, 2014, a team of U.S. Special Operations troops was dropped into a volatile village in Afghanistan’s Helmand province. The U.S. military had withdrawn thousands of troops from the country in the previous year, and the mission called for 14 Americans and about 24 Afghan commando counterparts to clear a bazaar of weapons and insurgents, and then get out.
American Competitiveness & Economic Diplomacy
EU Announces Plans to Create Digital Single Market
Tom Fairless / Wall Street Journal
The European Union unveiled a signature plan to unite the region’s fragmented online markets and crack down on possible abuses by U.S. Internet firms, a move policy makers hope will boost the economy and help spawn Internet giants to rival Google Inc. and Facebook Inc.
Greece makes IMF payment but hopes of quick deal dashed
George Georgiopoulos and John O’Donnel / Reuters
Greece made a small interest payment to the International Monetary Fund on Wednesday but European lenders dashed hopes for a cash-for-reforms deal before a more crucial, bigger installment Athens must pay next week.
National Security & Strategy
The U.S. Military Was No Match for Afghanistan’s Corruption
Jeffrey Smith / Slate
When President Obama met top NATO officials in Brussels on March 26, he publicly expressed renewed optimism that America’s estimated $120 billion effort to reconstruct Afghanistan will leave behind “a stable and secure country that serves the prosperity and the security of the Afghan people.”
How Joint Chiefs nominee’s advice will be shaped by fight against the Taliban
Missy Ryan and Greg Jaffe / Washington Post
As the commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, Gen. Joseph Dunford Jr. had plenty to worry about: unrelenting insurgent attacks, an untested local force and an Afghan president who openly accused foreign troops of plotting to kill civilians.
Iran says dispute over seized Maersk ship could be settled in days: IRNA
Parisa Hafezi / Reuters
Iran said on Wednesday a legal settlement could be reached soon over its seizure of the Marshall-Islands flagged Maersk Tigris container ship in the Strait of Hormuz last month, according to the official IRNA news agency.
Who is bombing Egypt’s electricity towers?
Ahmed Fouad / Al-Monitor
Terrorist attacks on power plants in Egypt have escalated since the ousting of Mohammed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood on July 3, 2013. Explosions took place April 15 targeting an electricity tower that provides electricity to the Egyptian Media Production City, home to the studios of many satellite stations. As a result, TV channels stopped broadcasting for almost 45 minutes.
Over 120 dead in more Yemen fighting, aid groups may stop work
Mohammed Mukhashaf and Mohammed Ghobari / Reuters
Over 120 people, mostly civilians, have been killed in heavy fighting across Yemen, rescue workers and Houthi sources said on Wednesday, as aid agencies warned fuel shortages could halt their urgent work.
U.S. to discuss pause in Yemen fighting with Saudis: Kerry
Lesley Wroughton / Reuters
The United States is concerned about the worsening humanitarian situation in Yemen and will discuss a possible pause in fighting with Saudi officials on Wednesday to try to get food, fuel and medicine to civilians, Secretary of State John Kerry said.
Ukraine Says Five Soldiers Killed As Talks Resume
Radio Free Europe Radio Liberty
Ukraine says five of its soldiers were killed in clashes in the east despite the resumption of talks between the government and pro-Russian rebels over an endangered truce deal.
UN reinforces DRC troops after 2 peacekeepers killed
The United Nations has deployed reinforcements to its Democratic Republic of Congo peacekeeping force near the eastern town Beni, after two soldiers were killed in an ambush on Tuesday.
French ambassador urges Australia to join climate change battle
Oliver Milman / The Guardian
France’s ambassador has called on Australia to join the effort to avoid dangerous climate change, saying his country’s leaders had repeatedly raised the issue with the prime minister, Tony Abbott.
On climate change, most Americans want action
Patt Morrison / LA Times
Another presidential election, another chance for Republican candidates to step out of the denial zone and deal with climate change. That would put them on the same side as a large majority of Americans, if you ask Jon A. Krosnick.
NRG Energy’s David Crane: Making Big Energy Green
Christopher Helmen / Forbes
When David Crane took the helm of NRG Energy in 2003 the company was little more than a motley agglomeration of aging second-hand power plants spread across the country. Crane’s challenge: craft a unified vision for a disjointed company.
Is United States Energy Independence in Sight?
Geoffrey Styles / Energy Collective
The US Energy Information Administration’s latest Annual Energy Outlook features the key finding that the US is on track to reduce its net energy imports to essentially zero by 2030, if not sooner. That might seem surprising, in light of the recent collapse of oil prices and the resulting significant slowdown in drilling.
Iran’s Khamenei Expresses Wariness Over Nuclear Deal
Aresu Eqbali and Asa Fitch / Wall Street Journal
Iran won’t negotiate with world powers over its disputed nuclear program if under military threat, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Wednesday, reflection his wariness over long-running nuclear talks amid tensions in Middle Eastern seas.
On Our Flashpoint Blog
From over the Pond – Four things to watch after the UK’s General Election
This Thursday will see a General Election in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (UK). All 650 seats in the House of Commons are up for grabs.
Washington is abuzz once again with talk of free trade, presidential authority, and Congressional responsibility. Last week’s announcement that movement is being made towards fast-track authority for President Obama in vital trade deals is an encouraging sign that the U.S. Congress is serious about advancing free trade in the coming years.
ASP Recently Published
American Security Project
When it comes to Russia and the other post-Soviet states, corruption is the subject of constant academic, policy, and popular debate. According to many, persistent corruption is the major factor undermining post-Soviet states from achieving broad-based political, economic, and social development along liberal-democratic lines.
American Security Project
As one of the centers of energy production, transit, and storage, Louisiana is a hub for the whole country. This ensures that any problems in Louisiana are transferred throughout the country by energy price volatility and uncertainty.