Center for Strategic Communication

International News Coverage


Middle East, Terrorism and Counterterrorism

Outrage in Mideast over IS killing of Jordan pilot

Hamza Hendawi / Associated Press

A video showing Islamic State militants burning a captive Jordanian pilot to death brought an outpouring of grief and rage across the Middle East on Wednesday, its brutality horrifying a region long accustomed to violence.


Jordan hangs two Iraqi militants in response to pilot’s death

Suleiman Al-Khalidi / Reuters

Jordan hanged two Iraqi jihadists, one a woman, on Wednesday in response to an Islamic State video showing a captured Jordanian pilot being burned alive in a cage by the hard-line group.


Special Report: How Cairo is taking the fight to Sinai militants


“We execute the wishes of God,” the commander told a Reuters reporter who had been taken to the location blindfolded in mid January. The militant spoke in a small room with an open window. Outside, a desert wind blew over the barren landscape. “We will create an Islamic state in Egypt,” he said.




Greece seeks ECB funds, Germany rejects austerity roll-black

John O’Donnel and Jan Strupczewski / Reuters
Greece’s new leftist government appealed to the European Central Bank on Wednesday to keep its banks afloat as it seeks to negotiate debt relief with its euro zone partners, but Germany rejected any roll-back of agreed austerity policies.


Ukraine conflict: Deadly shell hits Donetsk hospital

BBC News

Three people were killed and many more wounded when a shell hit a hospital in the rebel-held city of Donetsk in eastern Ukraine.



The Americas


Slain Argentine prosecutor reportedly considered arresting president

Andres D’Alessandro and Chris Kraul / Los Angeles Times

Special prosecutor Alberto Nisman was apparently considering an arrest warrant for Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner before his death Jan. 18, according to a published report.


Death toll in New York rail crash revised to six from seven

David Gaffen and Sebastien Malo / Reuters

Six people were killed and more than a dozen injured when a crowded New York commuter train struck a car stalled on the tracks near suburban White Plains during rush hour on Tuesday evening, in what officials said was the railroad’s deadliest accident.


Petrobras chief and other senior executives resign

BBC News

The head of Brazil’s state-run oil giant Petrobras and five senior executives have resigned in the wake of a huge corruption scandal.





Boko Haram crisis: Chad kills ‘more than 200’ in Nigeria

BBC News

Chad’s army says it has killed more than 200 militant Islamists and lost nine men during a battle to recapture a key town in north-eastern Nigeria.


50 injured in riots in northern Guinea

Conakry / Reuters

Around 50 people were injured in riots in the town of Labé in northern Guinea when people protesting a shake-up in the civil service clashed with security forces, the government said on Wednesday.


Senior Shabab leader killed in U.S. drone strike, Pentagon says

W.J. Hennigan / Los Angeles Times

A U.S. drone strike has killed a senior Shabab leader near Mogadishu, the Somalia capital, according to Pentagon officials, the third U.S. attack against the Al Qaeda-linked militia since last fall.





Taiwan plane crashes into river after take-off, killing 23

Faith Hung and Michael Gold / Reuters

A TransAsia Airways (6702.TW) plane with 58 passengers and crew on board careered into a river shortly after taking off from a downtown Taipei airport on Wednesday, killing 23 people and leaving 20 missing, officials said.


China deletes online reports that it is building a second aircraft carrier

Simon Denyer / The Washington Post

News that China is building a second aircraft carrier was leaked by an overenthusiastic local government, but reports were subsequently deleted from Web sites and social media here, a development that will do little to calm nerves in neighboring countries about Beijing’s growing maritime power.




Energy Security, Science and Technology, Climate Change


Judge allows hearings on summer closings of New York nuclear plant


A judge in New York has ruled Entergy Corp cannot stop hearings on the state’s plan to shut the company’s Indian Point nuclear power plant for part of the summer to protect fish in the Hudson River.


Ebola nurse infection ‘down to visor’

James Gallagher / BBC News

The UK nurse Pauline Cafferkey probably caught Ebola by wearing a visor instead of goggles while treating patients, an investigation has concluded.



On Our Flashpoint Blog


Department of Energy Budget Fails Again to Lead on Fusion Energy

Andrew Holland

Fusion energy research is simply too important for budgetary games. It should be a priority. With focus and direction, we know that fusion energy research could be accelerated ASP’s report “Fusion Power – A 10 Year Plan to Energy Security” provides an aggressive, but doable, timeline for research and development.

Fallon on Climate Security

Philip Rossetti

When asked about climate, Admiral Fallon delivered a lengthy response emphasizing the near and short term threats of climate change, as well as the importance of the U.S. taking the lead on it as an issue.


California Measles Outbreak Reminds Us of the Importance of Vaccines

Kennington Cung

In 1963, the measles vaccination program began in the United States. Before that, three million people contracted the virus annually and of those infected 500 died from it and thousands more were sent to the hospital.


Global Challenges and U.S. National Security Strategy
Paul Hamill
Key Quotes from the Testimony before Senate Armed Services Committee, 27 January 2015
ASP’s Caribbean Energy Security Event Follows Biden’s Lead
Andrew Holland
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
Matthew Wallin
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
Philip Rossetti
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
Philip Rossetti
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.

Upcoming Events
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
Giancarlo Lima
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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