International News Coverage
Middle East, Terrorism and Counterterrorism
Doug Stanglin and Jane Onyanga-Omara / USA Today
Jordanian jets carried out airstrikes against Islamic State targets in Syria on Thursday and then flew back over the village of the Jordanian pilot who was burned alive by militants, according to local media reports.
Iraq’s prime minister lifted a decade-old, midnight-to-5 a.m. curfew in Baghdad on Thursday. He also ordered that long-blocked streets in the capital be reopened and declared some neighborhoods of the city weapons-free zones.
Sylvia Westall / Reuters
Rocket attacks killed five people in Damascus and wounded at least 35 on Thursday, the state news agency SANA said, in what appeared to be the second heavy bombardment by Islam Army insurgents in less than two weeks.
Anton Troianovski, Philip Shishkin, and Gregory White / Washington Post
The diplomatic scramble to calm the conflict in eastern Ukraine entered a new, urgent phase Thursday as Western leaders descended on Kiev, while Moscow warned that any military aid to the country would be seen as a threat to Russian security.
Yves Herman / Reuters
EU Economics Commissioner Pierre Moscovici said fellow members of the bloc were willing to work with the new Greek government to keep Athens in the euro zone but stressed it must respect bailout commitments made by the previous administration.
Mery Mogollon and Chris Kraul / The Los Angeles Times
Venezuelan authorities have charged two executives of the country’s largest privately owned pharmacy chain with supply “irregularities,” part of a crackdown by President Nicolas Maduro on companies he accuses of causing scarcities of basic household items.
Jim Fitzgerald and Jennifer Peltz / Associated Press
An investigation into what caused a fiery crash that killed a motorist and five rail riders is focusing on how a mother of three described by friends as safety conscious ended up between two crossing gates in her SUV as a commuter train barreled toward her.
The number of new cases of Ebola went up in all three of West Africa’s worst-hit countries in the last week of January, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Wednesday.
John Irish and Marine Pennetier / Reuters
France has sent military advisers to Niger’s southern border with Nigeria to help coordinate military action by regional powers fighting the Islamist group Boko Haram, a French army official said on Thursday.
Ralph Jennings / Associated Press
From the start of the flight in Taiwan’s capital, survivor Huang Jin-sun suspected trouble. “There was some sound next to me. It did not feel right shortly after takeoff. The engine did not feel right,” the 72-year-old man told ETTV television Thursday from his hospital bed.
At least 350 children were removed during raids on leather tanning and plastic workshops in Hyderabad, over a 10-day period. Widespread poverty and lack of education result in many children being pushed into work.
Energy Security, Science and Technology, Climate Change
Reed Abelson and Matthew Goldstein / The New York Times
Anthem, one of the nation’s largest health insurers, said late Wednesday that the personal information of tens of millions of its customers and employees, including its chief executive, was the subject of a “very sophisticated external cyberattack.”
Christian Davenport / The Washington Post
If SpaceX can land the first stage of its Falcon 9 rocket on a floating platform in the Atlantic Ocean Sunday evening, it will mark a huge step toward developing rockets that perform like airplanes–fly, land and fly again—instead of crashing and burning up after one use.
On Our Flashpoint Blog
In today’s Le Monde, Peter S. Rashish (Transnational Strategy Group and ASP consensus member), stressed the geopolitical importance of the ongoing negotiations between the US and the European Union to conclude an ambitious free trade agreement, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).
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.
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.
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.
Key Quotes from the Testimony before Senate Armed Services Committee, 27 January 2015
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.”
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.
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.