International News Coverage
Middle East, Terrorism and Counterterrorism
Egypt Raises Death Toll From Coordinated Sinai Attack to 32
Ashraf Sweilam / Associated Press
Egyptian officials on Friday raised the death toll to 32 from coordinated and simultaneous attacks that struck more than a dozen army and police targets in the restive Sinai Peninsula the previous night.
U.S. Drone Strategy in Trouble as Yemeni Al-Qaeda Gathers Support
Yara Bayoumy / Reuters
But in recent months convulsions in Yemeni politics have pushed President Barack Obama’s strategy close to failure as the group, known locally as Ansar al-Shariah, has broken out of its mountain bastions to stage attacks across the country
Senior Kurdish Military Commander Killed in Iraq Fighting Islamic Militants
The Wall Street Journal & Associated Press
Officials said a senior Kurdish military commander and eight Kurdish fighters have been killed in clashes with Islamic State militants in northern Iraq.
Saudi Blogger Raif Badawi Flogging Postponed Second Time
Authorities in Saudi Arabia have again postponed a second round of 50 lashes on the blogger Raif Badawi. No reason has been given, but last week Mr Badawi was reported to be physically unfit to face the penalty after receiving the first flogging.
Mitt Romney Won’t Run in 2016 Presidential Election
Jonathan Martin and Michael Barbaro / The New York Times
Mitt Romney said Friday that he would not seek the Republican nomination for president in 2016. Mr. Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, shared his decision on a conference call with a small group of advisers.
U.S. Rejects Cuba Demand to Hand Back Guantanamo Bay Base
The US says it will not hand back the Guantanamo Bay naval base as part of efforts to improve relations with Cuba. Cuban President Raul Castro included the demand in a speech on Wednesday, calling also for the US trade embargo to be lifted.
Zimbabwe’s Mugabe, 90, Becomes African Union Chairman
Edmund Blair / Reuters
Ninety-year-old Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe, one of Africa’s most divisive figures, ascended to the rotating chairmanship of the African Union (AU) on Friday, casting a shadow over the continental body’s relations with the West.
Chadian Forces, Beating Back Boko Haram, Are Said to Retake Nigerian Town
Adam Nossiter / The New York Times
Chadian forces have retaken an important Nigerian town north of here that had been under the control of Boko Haram since October, according to a Chadian military spokesman, Nigerian news media reports and officials in neighboring Niger.
Blast at Shi’ite Mosque in Southern Pakistan Kills 49
Mukhtar Ahmed / Reuters
At least 49 people were killed in a powerful explosion at a crowded Shi’ite mosque in Pakistan during Friday prayers, the latest sectarian attack to hit the South Asian nation.
China’s Great Firewall Gets Taller
Eva Dou / The Wall Street Journal
China’s government has unveiled a smarter and stricter Internet filter, riling web users and widening the divide between China’s Internet and the World Wide Web. A recent upgrade to China’s web filters, commonly referred to as the Great Firewall, has made it more difficult to use services called virtual private networks to circumvent the country’s blocks to U.S. services like Google and Facebook .
India to be $4-5 trillion Economy In 10-12 Years: Jayant Sinha
PTI / The Economic Times
Stating its great time to invest in India, Minister of State for Finance Jayant Sinha today said the Indian economy has potential to become a $4-5 trillion economy in the next 10-12 years.
Energy Security, Science and Technology, Climate Change
Most Americans Support Government Action on Climate Change, Poll Finds
Coral Davenport and Marjorie Connelly / The New York Times
An overwhelming majority of the American public, including nearly half of Republicans, support government action to curb global warming, according to a poll conducted by The New York Times, Stanford University and the nonpartisan environmental research group Resources for the Future.
Japan Looks at 2030 Energy Targets in Shadow of Fukushima Cleanup
Osamu Tsukimori Mari Saito / Reuters
Japan began deliberating its 2030 targets for power generation on Friday, a process likely to turn contentious when nuclear restarts are considered even as the much delayed cleanup at Fukushima continues four years after the meltdowns there.
On Our Flashpoint Blog
Global Challenges and U.S. National Security Strategy
Key Quotes from the Testimony before Senate Armed Services Committee, 27 January 2015
ASP’s Caribbean Energy Security Event Follows Biden’s Lead
Earlier this week, Vice President Biden hosted the Caribbean Energy Summit at the State Department. He said to leaders and stakeholders from across the region: “We’re in the midst of a seismic shift in the global economy: the ascendancy of the Americas as the epicenter of energy production in the world. We have more oil and gas rigs running in the United States, than all the rest of the world combined. Mexico, Canada and the United States is the new epicenter of energy — not the Arabian Peninsula. It is the new epicenter of energy in the 21st century.”
What’s in a Name? ISIL being labeled Daesh
Check off another name on the list of officials, states, and agencies which refuse to grant ISIL its self-appointed label of being the “Islamic State.” Business Insider has noted that LTG James Terry, in command of Operation Inherent Resolve, is using the term “Daesh” to refer to ISIL.
The U.S. Should Take the Lead on Climate Change
Climate change presents a serious risk to the national interests of the United States, yet it still struggles to garner political support to address it as a diplomatic issue. Expansive multilateral agreements such as the Kyoto Protocol have failed to produce any significant progress towards achieving objectives of reducing global emissions. This has been largely due to the need for balance between inclusiveness and commitments, necessitating that obligations be low enough that a large number of states are still able to participate.
The Progress and Uncertainty of the Agreement at Lima
The Lima conference marks a significant shift in the thinking of the global community to move away from commitments which are well defined and strictly enforceable to more ambiguity and inclusivity, focusing on global cooperation rather than burdening developed states that are seen as responsible for climate change.
Green Bonds for Clean Energy
The promise and potential of alternative energy is rapidly becoming a reality. In the manufacture of green technology, the United States has a clear opportunity for significant export growth and global leadership. This sector is also becoming a sound investment. The issuance of “Green Bonds”, investment instruments of which proceeds are dedicated to the advancement of alternative energy initiatives, has skyrocketed in just a few years.
5 Key World News Stories
Government officials in the Philippines said Monday at least 43 members of the elite Special Action Force were killed in a counter-terrorism raid, making it the largest single loss of involving Philippine police officers in recent history.
Conference – Energy Security in the Caribbean: Unique Challenges
February 4 @ 12:00pm – 5:00pm
Join ASP as we host a conference on February 4, 2015, discussing the challenges facing the Caribbean in securing their energy future and how to move forward in the years to come.
Obama’s National Security Policy: A New Assessment
February 25 @ 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm
Based on the research for his new book, Faces of Power: Constancy and Change in United States Foreign Policy from Truman to Obama, Seyom Brown will argue that Obama’s national security policy resembles those of Reagan and George W. Bush in their second terms more than any of his other predecessors; and will assess the implications of Obama’s evolving grand strategy for his successors.
ASP Recently Published
Libya: On the Brink
This report analyzes the recent events that have placed Libya on its current path. In order to understand events on the ground, this report includes a breakdown of key Libyan parties and figures as well as an examination of the economic and energy dimensions of the conflict. The report then concludes with a look forward for Libya and recommendations for the U.S. and international community.
U.S. Fusion Program Recommendations
Caroline Julia von Wurden and Andrew Holland
This report on fusion energy is informed by a roundtable discussion of fusion energy that was hosted by ASP on December 4, 2014. The report goes on to explain the potential benefits of fusion energy in the U.S. as a safe and clean source of power, but only if certain barriers to the implementation of this technology are overcome.
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