Middle East, IS, Al-Qaeda, Terrorism, Counter-Terrorism
US, Turkey at Odds Over Strategy Against Islamic State
Mike Richman / VOA News
Turkey is part of the U.S.-led international coalition that is confronting the Islamic State militant group in Syria and Iraq, but Ankara has refused to participate militarily.
Former Iraqi pilots who have now joined Islamic State (IS) militants in Syria are training members of the group to fly captured fighter jets, a group monitoring the war said on Friday.
U.S. Says Unaware Of Any Flights By Islamic State Militants
Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty
The U.S. military says it is unaware of any flight operations by Islamic State (IS) militants “in Syria or elsewhere.”
Air campaign against ISIS is just getting off the ground
Brian Michael Jenkins / The Hill
The stated objective of the American-led bombing campaign in Iraq and Syria is to “degrade, and ultimately destroy” the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) — language carefully crafted to imply a gradual process that may take months, even years. Yet just over two months into the campaign, some are already asking for results.
White House Sharpens Focus On ISIS Moves In Anbar Province
Tom Bowman / NPR
Militants from the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, control about 80 percent of Iraq’s Anbar Province. Joint Chiefs Chairman General Martin Dempsey says ISIS could eventually shell Baghdad Airport.
Al-Qaeda’s deadly Yemen-based franchise on Friday urged Muslims worldwide to support Islamic State jihadists in Syria and Iraq in the face of attacks by a U.S.-led military coalition.
Why Damascus Says It Is ‘Fighting IS’
Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty
As the United States and its allies continue to pound Islamic State (IS) militants in the northern Syrian town of Kobani this week, Damascus has emphasized its own role in fighting IS and other “terrorists” in Syria.
Intensified coalition bombing helps Syrian-Kurdish fighters regain ground lost to armed group in town on Turkish border.
The Iraqi capital Baghdadis not facing immediate danger from Islamic State jihadists despite battlefield gains by the group in the country’s west and recent car bombings in the city, the US military said Thursday.
Think the Islamic State is bad? Check out the ‘good guys’
Tracey Shelton / Global Post
Executing hundreds of prisoners without trial. Arbitrarily arresting villagers along sectarian lines. Hanging bodies from power lines to instill fear in the local community. Gunning down dozens of civilians as they gather to pray.
ISIL’s Actions Have Enabled More Airstrikes, DoD Spokesman Says
Army Sgt. 1st Class Tyrone C. Marshall Jr. / DoD News
A concentration of fighters from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant around the town of Kobani along Syria’s border with Turkey has led to more airstrikes against the terrorist group, Pentagon Press Secretary Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby said today.
Kurds sharing intel with US for Syria strikes
Diaa Hadid / The Associted Press
Kurdish fighters are sharing information with the U.S.-led coalition to coordinate strikes against Islamic State militants in the Syrian border town of Kobani, a Kurdish official said Friday.
Russia, Ukraine, Former Soviet Union
Russia and Ukraine fail to make progress in testy Milan talks
ANDREAS RINKE AND ALEXEI ANISHCHUK / Reuters
Russia, Ukraine and European governments failed to make any progress towards solving the crisis in Ukraine on Friday in talks that the Kremlin said were “full of misunderstandings and disagreements”.
Defying Russia, Georgia to host NATO training center: minister
MARGARITA ANTIDZE / Reuters
Georgia will not allow pressure from Russia to stop it hosting a NATO training center on its territory or deter its plans to deepen ties with the West, the former Soviet republic’s defense minister said.
China and Vietnam have agreed to “address and control” maritime disputes, state media said on Friday, as differences over the potentially energy-rich South China Sea have roiled relations between the two countries and other neighbors.
U.S. ambassadors to Japan, China and South Korea are holding a regular meeting in Tokyo this week to discuss regional issues and are meeting a variety of experts and officials including Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda, a spokeswoman for the U.S. embassy in Tokyo said on Friday.
Leaders of China and Japan Are Likely to Meet, Briefly, for First Time
Martin Fackler / The New York Times
The leaders of Japan and China are likely to meet for the first time next month on the sidelines of a regional summit in Beijing, shaking hands in a carefully negotiated display of good will that Japanese officials say they hope will lower tensions between the two estranged Asian powers.
More than 100 high ranking Japanese officials visited a Tokyo shrine of Friday that is condemned by China and Korea as a symbol of Japan’s militarist past.
Hong Kong Police Launch Dawn Raid To Dismantle Protest Site
Scott Neuman / NPR
Police in Hong Kong moved aggressively to dismantle a pro-democracy protest site in the city’s congested Mong Kok district, launching a dawn raid to remove metal and bamboo barricades at one of three areas where student activists have staged rallies calling for open elections in the former British colony.
Despite Poverty Efforts, China Still Faces Income Gap
Didi Kirsten Tatlow / The New York Times
In 1978, “socialist China” meant “poor China” in the eyes of the West, but this was no longer the case, Xinhua said. But the cost of living has also soared in that time, as has the income gap between the rich and poor.
Genocide Trial Begins for Khmer Rouge Leaders
JULIA WALLACE / The New York Times
Hearings began on Friday into the most far-reaching charges, including genocide, against two former leaders of Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge in what is likely to be the last chance to seek justice for 1.7 million deaths during their disastrous 1970s rule.
Myanmar rebels say military operations could end peace talks
Jared Ferrie / Reuters
Peace talks between Myanmar’s military and ethnic minority insurgents may collapse if the army scales up operations in rebel-controlled areas, an organization representing rebel groups said on Friday.
The World Health Organisation has admitted it botched attempts to stop the now-spiraling Ebola outbreak in west Africa, blaming factors including incompetent staff and a lack of information.
All four suspected Ebola cases in Spain test negative for the disease
Ashifa Kassam / The Guardian
All four suspected Ebola cases admitted to hospitals in Spain on Thursday have tested negative for the virus in the initial rounds of tests, authorities said on Friday.
Energy, Climate Change
Falling oil prices: Who are the winners and losers?
Tim Bowler / BBC
Falling oil prices mean that some oil exporters are bracing themselves for significant revenue shortfalls, while some importing countries could benefit economically as consumers pay less for energy and have more to spend elsewhere.
Venezuela Vulnerable to Oil’s Fall
The Wall Street Journal
This week’s plummeting world oil prices are throwing into doubt financial stability in Venezuela, which relies on the commodity for most of its income. Oil exporters from Russia to Iran are suffering with the lowest crude oil prices since June 2012. But few are as vulnerable as Venezuela, where a free-spending populist government had already been grappling with a recession, widespread shortages, and massive protests earlier this year.
Bermuda says it’s ready. Now it awaits the arrival of Hurricane Gonzalo. The eye of the powerful Category 3 storm with its 130 mph winds and higher gusts is expected to pass near the British territory Friday evening, according to the National Hurricane Center in Miami.
On Our Flashpoint Blog
The Private Sector’s Role in Climate Change
There is no question that climate change poses serious long-term economic and security dangers. Dealing with the effects of climate change will become more expensive as time goes on because it will become more difficult to mitigate and adapt to the consequences of a warming Earth. To prevent us from getting to that point, it is necessary to scale-up financing of climate and clean energy related investments.
10 Reasons the Climate Crisis is an “Immediate Security Threat
Egypt: A Work In Progress But Open For Business
Changes are underway in Egypt but the country requires extensive reforms if it is to have the long term growth that Egyptian society vitally needs.
Lockheed Martin Reveals Compact Fusion Reactor Details
Caroline Julia von Wurden
Lockheed Martin Corp. announced that its Skunk Works® team had made a breakthrough on a compact fusion reactor (CFR).
Key Quotes – John Allen, Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL
“.. this is a robust coalition. It’s made up of many diverse actors, all seized with the reality of degrading and defeating ISIL as a global challenge.”
Climate Change and the Threats to the American Midwest
American Security Project
Climate change threatens the Midwest’s infrastructure, agriculture, economy and population.
ASP Board Member Whitman pushes for wider nuclear power use
Caroline Julia von Wurden
Christine Todd Whitman, former Republican Governor of New Jersey, administrator of the EPA under George W. Bush, and American Security board member, is pushing for wider use of nuclear power in the US.
Holland on low oil production costs in Saudi Arabia
Caroline Julia von Wurden
ASP’s Senior Fellow for Energy and Climate Andrew Holland was quoted in an article, Declining oil prices benefit Saudi Arabia most: Experts.
Geography 2050: Mounting an Expedition to the Future
Location: Low Memorial Library, Columbia University, 2960 Broadway, Manhattan, NY 10027
The one-day inaugural event, to be held at Columbia’s Low Library in Manhattan, offers an opportunity for thought leaders in industry, government, the social sector, and academe to come together to think about collectively exploring the future, and to examine how geography, geographic thinking, and geospatial data and technologies will enable this new age of exploration.