Center for Strategic Communication

4 September 2012

Algeria baffled by reported diplomat murder

Yasmine Ryan/Al Jazeera

Reports form the separatist group MUJAO in the North of Mali claim that Algeria’s vice-consul, Taher Touati, has been executed.  Touati was kidnapped with several other Algerian diplomats in a development that puts Algeria’s stance against intervention in neighboring Mali in question.


Somalia: Al-Shabaab and Post-Transition Somalia

Abdi Aynte/African Arguments in AllAfrica

Decimated by recent losses to AMISOM and Somali troops, and unable to “articulate a broad, coherent vision for Somalia since formally joining al-Qaeda in February 2012,” Al-Shabaab is losing influence in post-transition Somalia.


Iran’s Call for Nuclear Abolition by 2025 unreported by NYT

Alice Slater/Scoop

The Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), formed in 1961 during the Cold War, is a group of 120 states and 17 observer states not formally aligned with or against any major power bloc. The NAM held its opening 2012 session yesterday under the new chairmanship of Iran, which succeeded Egypt as the Chair. In that opening session, Iran’s Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi reaffirmed NAM’s commitment to remove the world’s nuclear arsenals within 13 years.


Bushehr reaches full capacity

World Nuclear News

Power output from Iran’s first nuclear power reactor at Bushehr has reached 100%, the Russian supplier AtomStroyExport (ASE) announced. The unit was connected to the grid almost a year ago.


Heist at the Global Strategic Maple Syrup Reserve

Brad Moon/Wired

I don’t know about you, but when I think of a heist, I’m picturing Fort Knox, a casino or a bank vault. Maybe an art gallery. One of my more pop culture-aware co-writers or readers can no doubt correct me on this, but I don’t recall ever encountering a plot in comic books, movies or television that involved making off with millions of dollars in maple syrup. But here we are in 2012 and it’s happened.


Letter from a Pakistani blogger

Dahlia Scheindlin/+972 Magazine

Over the last few months, I have engaged in a series of conversations with Pakistani writers and academics through mutual friends. These talks have been a rare and fascinating opportunity to see their country through their eyes rather than through Western media sources. The following is an introduction by Abdul, one of the participants, who writes his own blog tackling the stories of Pakistan that are seldom told abroad.


The Challenges Facing Alaska LNG Exports

Larry Persily / Alaska Business Monthly

Alaska has large deposits of natural gas and exporting it to Asia could be lucrative. However, several challenges remain, including high costs, uncertain prices, competition and political uncertainty.


Energy Federalism: A Good Idea in the Romney Plan

Andrew Holland / Consumer Energy Report

Mitt Romney proposed devolving energy development authority from the federal government to the states. While the energy payoff may not be huge, granting states more authority over land-use decisions makes sense.

On Our Flashpoint Blog

Energy Policy Needs to Look at Both Supply and Demand

Cross Posted From Andrew Holland’s ‘Power Policy’ Blog on Consumer Energy Report

Last week, Governor Romney released his plan for “Energy Independence” that promises to “increase domestic energy production and increase partnership with Mexico and Canada to gain energy independence by 2020.” Briefly, the plan proposes to increase domestic fossil fuel production by opening new areas to exploration and by reducing regulatory barriers to the building of new power plants. My concern is that this is simply a one-sided energy policy – it focuses solely on increasing the supply of energy (and almost exclusively on fossil fuels, especially oil).


Reading the IAEA Report

Mary Kaszynski and Mitchell Freddura

Every time the International Atomic Energy Agency issues a new report on Iran, news media and political pundits often end up misreading it. To counter the flawed interpretations that are sure to follow the latest report, ASP’s nuclear security team has an overview of what the report really says – and what it does not say.


Mixed Messages from NAM

Aaron Hesse

The Non-Aligned Movement’s triennial summit in Tehran drew to a close last Friday, leaving mixed messages through which to puzzle. On the one hand, the summit could be seen as a case study of balance of power in the Middle East. On the other hand, it was a wake-up call for the Iranian regime from the other regional powers.



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