Merkel backs Jean-Claude Juncker for European commission president
Philip Ottermann / The Guardian
Angela Merkel has thrown her weight behind Jean-Claude Juncker for the next European commission leader, dealing a blow to David Cameron’s attempts to block Luxembourg’s former prime minister from taking up the role.
Israel Solves Water Woes With Desalination
Josef Federman / Associated Press
While previous droughts have been accompanied by impassioned public service advertisements to conserve, this time around it has been greeted with a shrug — thanks in large part to an aggressive desalination program that has transformed this perennially parched land into perhaps the most well-hydrated country in the region.
Environmentalists Struggle to Make Climate Change Politically Relevant
Alex Rorty / National Journal
Few natural disasters epitomize the political dilemma facing climate-change activists more than the massive glacier in West Antarctica beginning an irreversible slide into the ocean. Scientists, who earlier this month described the event as a mini-apocalypse, warned its dissolution would raise sea levels to catastrophic heights for coastal cities and countries.
Protesters lash out at peacekeepers in Central African Republic
Gemma Parellada and Laura Smith-Spark / CNN
Thousands of angry protesters poured into the streets of the Central African Republic’s capital Friday. The target of their rage? Peacekeepers sent to protect them.
In dig at China, Japan PM says supports SE Asia on freedom of sea, air
Masayuki Kitano and Raju Gopalakrishnan / Reuters
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, pushing for a greater role for Japan in regional security, said on Friday that Tokyo would offer its “utmost support” to Southeast Asian countries, several of which are locked in maritime disputes with its arch-rival China.
ASP Recent Reports
The 21st Century Nuclear Arsenal
Since the middle of the Cold War, nuclear deterrence has rested on the premise of mutual assured destruction. Recent discussions over the role of nuclear deterrence with regards to the situation in Ukraine only serve accentuate the need to honestly assess the threats, capabilities, and needs for an effective U.S. deterrent. More than two decades after the fall of the Soviet Union, U.S. nuclear deterrence has not adapted to the changing nature of the threats faced.
On Our Flashpoint Blog
Taking a Closer Look at the Counterterrorism Partnerships Fund
Victoria Burnside Clapp
In his West Point commencement address on Wednesday, President Obama outlined a broad foreign policy vision for a 21st century America, which included several key shifts in national security strategy.
Iran: Zarif’s Reassurance in Upcoming Nuclear Talks
The next round of Iranian nuclear talks will take place in Vienna on June 16-20. After rather disappointing meetings two weeks ago in which very little progress was made, and with a quickly approaching deadline for an agreement by July 20, foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif spoke out yesterday to reassure the West of Iran’s serious intentions to negotiate.
Why Libya Matters: The 2014 Uprising
Across Libya, militias like the Petroleum Defense Guard are currently occupying the country’s key ports and oil fields. The Petroleum Defense Guard alone is estimated to control 17,000 fighters, or almost half the number of soldiers that Libya’s national army possesses. The militias, with large numbers of heavily-armed troops, are preventing the government from retaking the port installations and oil fields.
Counterterrorism Partnership Fund: A Multilateral Approach
As U.S. military presence in Afghanistan continues to decline, more resources can be utilized in counterterrorism efforts elsewhere. In yesterday’s commencement address at West Point, President Obama highlighted the al-Qaeda presence in Yemen, peace-keeping efforts in Somalia, and the ongoing crisis in Syria as some of the pressing issues that can now be afforded greater attention.
On Tuesday and Wednesday, April 29 and 30, representatives of the American Security Project visited Chicago for a series of meetings, public events, and briefings on how climate change is affecting security, and how institutions in the region are planning for it. They partnered with the Chicago Council on Science & Technology (C2ST) to highlight the issue across the city.
Last week, online Chinese retailer JD.com had a strong first day as a publicly traded company when it rose 10% following its IPO with the Nasdaq. JD.com’s IPO filing made modest-at-best headlines within the U.S. despite many investors paying close attention to its progress as it comes on the heels of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba’s announcement that it too intends to go public in the U.S.