Center for Strategic Communication

International News Coverage

Europe, Ukraine, Russia

Finally, Germany Makes Progress on Coal

Richard Martin | Forbes

For critics who scoff that Europe’s carbon emission reduction goals are unachievable, Germany has become Exhibit No 1. Coal use in Germany has been on the rise, and the country’s carbon emissions have remained stubbornly high. Now it appears that tide may be turning.


More German rail strikes likely as pay talks break down


Talks aimed at averting further strikes by German train drivers have broken down, the country’s rail operator Deutsche Bahn said. German media reported that the drivers’ union, GDL, planned a statement later on Monday detailing further strikes.


Eurozone economic forecast cut by European Commission


The economy of the 18-country strong eurozone will grow by just 0.8% this year, the European Commission has said. The forecast is below the 1.2% estimate made earlier this year. The commission has also has cut its growth forecast for 2015 to 1.1% from 1.7%.


Spanish court again suspends Catalonia independence vote

Al Goodman | CNN
A controversial referendum on Catalonia’s future as part of Spain has again been put on hold by a court, just days before the planned vote on Sunday.


Ukraine’s rebel leader is sworn in, crisis deepens

Maxim Zmeyev | Reuters

A pro-Russian separatist leader was sworn in on Tuesday as the head of a self-proclaimed ‘people’s republic’ in eastern Ukraine in a ceremony that worsened a standoff with Russia.


Ukraine crisis: President Poroshenko’s threat after rebel polls


Ukraine’s president is to chair a crisis meeting of security chiefs, after a rebel-held vote that he said jeopardized “the entire peace process”. Petro Poroshenko proposed scrapping a law, agreed under the 5 September truce deal, which gives special status to the eastern Donetsk and Luhansk areas.


Russia snubs nuclear security meeting

The Guardian

Russia failed to show up at meeting planning a 2016 nuclear security summit, US and European officials said on Monday, leaving unclear Moscow’s intentions for future participation in talks.



Police Capture Mexican Mayor Accused of Ordering Student Kidnappings

Eyder Peralta | NPR

Mexican Federal Police captured the former mayor of Iguala, José Luis Abarca, and his wife, María de los Ángeles Pineda, near Mexico City this morning, the spokesman for the Federal Police said in a tweet.



China unveils laser drone defence system

Agence France-Presse | The Guardian

China has developed a highly accurate laser weapon system that can shoot down light drones at low altitude, state media reported. The machine has a 1.2-mile range and can bring down “various small aircraft” within five seconds of locating its target, the official Xinhua news agency said, citing a statement by the China Academy of Engineering Physics (CAEP), one of the developers.


United States

2 Nuclear Commanders are Fired, Another Disciplined

Robert Burns | Associated Press

The Air Force on Monday fired two more nuclear commanders and disciplined a third, fresh evidence of leadership lapses in a nuclear missile corps that has suffered a rash of recent setbacks, including the firing last year of its top commander.


Invasive Bug Prompts Quarantines in Pennsylvania Townships

Bill Chappell | NPR

The spotted lanternfly has officially arrived in the U.S., and leaders in Pennsylvania are hoping it won’t be staying long. The invasive pest poses a threat to fruit orchards and grape vines, along with forests and the timber industry. It was detected in Berks County, northwest of Philadelphia.



International Space Station Agency Heads Issue Joint Statement


The heads of the International Space Station (ISS) agencies from Canada, Europe, Japan, Russia and the United States met in Paris, France, on Nov. 4, 2014. The Space Station partner agencies reaffirmed their support for continued ISS operations.


Middle East, ISIS, Terrorism

Oil prices fall further after Saudi discount

Pan Pylas | Associated Press

Oil prices sank to multi-year lows on Tuesday following reports that Saudi Arabia, OPEC’s largest oil producer, is cutting its prices for customers in the U.S.


Islamic State seizes natural gas field in Syria

Daniel J. Graeber | UPI

A group monitoring terrorist activity in the Middle East says Islamic State militants have seized control of a natural gas field in Homs province in Syria.


State Department Hosts Inaugural Plenary Meeting of the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL

U.S. Department of State

On November 3, Acting Deputy Secretary of State Wendy R. Sherman welcomed to the State Department more than 35 Washington-based ambassadors from partner countries in the global coalition to counter ISIL. This plenary session was an opportunity for coalition partners to reaffirm our shared efforts in the coalition, discuss ways in which we can integrate our contributions to coalition efforts, and review ways to accelerate or increase our joint operations.


Security Tight As Shiites Mark Holy Day in Iraq

Zeina Karam and Sameer N. Yacoub | Associated Press

Hundreds of thousands of Shiite pilgrims flocked Tuesday to an Iraqi holy city for the peak of a 10-day religious ritual amid tight security over fears of sectarian attacks – the first time Ashoura has been observed since Sunni extremists seized much of northern and western Iraq.


On Our Flashpoint Blog

Available Positions – Internship

American Security Project

ASP is looking for current or recently graduated students interested in hands-on public policy experience for full- and part-time internships. Interns will support ASP researchers and staff in multiple areas including communications, development, programming and research.


UN IPCC Climate Change Report Reaffirms Nexus between Climate Change and National Security

AJ Degarmo

This past weekend the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released their fifth assessment report covering climate change. The report provided an overview of the current literature and statistics concerning the science of climate change, and the initial tone calls for immediate action on the part of larger nations.


Fusion is “the perfect way to make energy”

Caroline Julia von Wurden

The BBC Radio 4 series “In Our Time” broadcasteded a program on nuclear fusion.


Upcoming Events

The U.S.-EU Strategic Partnership: Trade, Energy, and Security

November 12, 12:20 pm – 1:30 pm

Numerous strategic challenges and opportunities face the United States and European Union in 2015. Join our high-level panel to discuss what it will mean for the strategic partnership with a new U.S. Congress, new EU Commission, and new EU Parliament.


Orlando Event – Climate Change: Risks for National Security

November 17, 8:00 am – 10:30 am

Location: Pegasus Ballroom, Student Union Building, University of Central Florida

Climate change is already a major consideration for US military planners. Meanwhile, American politicians continue to ignore the issue. Join us for a discussion with senior flag officers as they discuss the steps the US military has taken and future implications for our national security.


Tampa event – Climate Change: Risks for National Security

November 18, 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Location: Reeves Theater, University of Tampa

Climate change is already a major consideration for US military planners. Meanwhile, American politicians continue to ignore the issue. Join us for a discussion with senior flag officers as they discuss the steps the US military has taken and future implications for our national security.

Geography 2050: Mounting an Expedition to the Future
November 19 
Location: Low Memorial Library, Columbia University

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.

FSC Event- Climate Change: Risks for National Security

November 19, 10:30 am – 12:00 pm

Location: Buckner Building, Florida Southern College

Climate change is already a major consideration for US military planners. Meanwhile, American politicians continue to ignore the issue. Join us for a discussion with senior flag officers as they discuss the steps the US military has taken and future implications for our national security.


Electric Supply: What it means for Security, Development, and Geopolitics

November 19, 12:00 pm – 4:30 pm

The nexus of electricity, development, and security is significant, yet its nuances are too often overlooked. The half-day event will bring together development and energy experts, government officials, and policy makers to better establish the important linkages between power, security, and development, share successful implementation strategies and consider how these successes can be replicated in diverse contexts.


Pakistan – Aid Trade, and Security

December 9, 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm

The event will be a discussion of the current conditions of economic aid, trade and security in Pakistan, and will feature ASP Board Member Admiral William Fallon USN (Ret.), former Commander of CENTCOM and PACOM; and USAID Assistant to the Administrator for Pakistan in the Office of Afghanistan and Pakistan Affairs Mr. Daniel Grant.

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