Center for Strategic Communication

Bomber attacks US embassy in Ankara, Turkey


A suicide bomber has attacked the US embassy in the Turkish capital Ankara, killing a guard, officials say. The blast, at a side entrance of the heavily guarded compound, sent debris flying into the street. The US has warned its citizens not to visit diplomatic missions in Turkey until further notice. No group has said it carried out the attack, but Interior Minister Muammer Guler said the bomber, who also died, was a far-left militant.

N Korean Uranium Nuclear Test Would Raise Stakes

Foster Klug/The Associated Press

As North Korea warns that it plans its third nuclear test since 2006, outside governments and analysts are trying to determine a crucial question: Just what will Pyongyang’s scientists explode?

Clinton: Window for Iran talks can’t stay open “too much longer”

Arshad Mohammed/Reuters

“I don’t think the window can remain open for too much longer (but) I am not going to put days, weeks or months on it,” Clinton told a small group of reporters on the eve of her departure from the State Department. The United States and its Western allies suspect that Iran is using its civilian nuclear program as a cover to develop a bomb. Iran denies this, saying its program is for peaceful purposes such as generating electricity and medical isotopes.

Energy Secretary Steven Chu resigns

Matthew Daly/The Washington Post

Energy Secretary Steven Chu, who won a Nobel Prize in physics but came under questioning for his handling of a solar energy loan, is stepping down. Chu offered his resignation to President Barack Obama in a letter Friday. He said he will stay on at least until the end of February and may stay until a successor is confirmed.

Senate bill would greenlight natural gas exports to US allies
Ben Geman / The Hill

A bipartisan group of Senators introduced legislation that would open up LNG exports to American allies. The legislation would put NATO countries plus Japan on the same footing as countries with which the U.S. has a free-trade agreement, allowing LNG exports to move forward.

North Dakota Went Boom

Chip Brown / The New York Times Magazine

A long-form article published in the NYT Magazine takes a look at the effects of the oil boom in North Dakota.

Clinton’s farewell marred by embassy bombing

Elise Labott, Jill Dougherty and Matt Smith/CNN

A final meeting with the president. A farewell address to the State Department staff. A terrorist attack at the U.S. Embassy in Turkey. Hillary Clinton’s last day as secretary of state on Friday seemed to be a microcosm of her four globe-trotting years as America’s top diplomat.

On Our Flashpoint Blog

Iraq’s Oil Dispute is Heating Up Again

Kaitlyn Huppmann

2012 was a banner year for the oil industry in Iraq. Production has surged, making it to the second largest oil producer in OPEC and some have projected that Iraq could double production by 2020.  Unfortunately, with the New Year has come heightened internal tension between the federal government in Baghdad and the Kurdish Regional Government over the control of oil exports.