International News Coverage
Energy Security, Science and Technology, Climate Change
Growing economy depends on clean energy
Christine Todd Whitman / Miami Herald
After years of economic stagnation, Florida’s economy and demand for electricity are growing. Just last month, the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity reported that the state’s annual growth rate has exceeded the national rate for almost three years, and that all 10 of the state’s major industries have experienced job gains.
Climate Change: New York City sea levels could rise by up to 6 feet by the end of the century
Sean Martin / International Business Times
New York City will see more heatwaves and heavier rain which could make the sea level around the US’s most polulous city rise by up to six feet, a report has revealed.
The weird way that climate change could lead to new disease outbreaks around the world
Dominic Basulto / The Washington Post
Climate change could be behind more than just rising ocean levels, melting polar ice caps, and extreme weather events – it could also be creating the ecological basis for infectious diseases to spread to new places and new hosts.
Towering Plume Spotted on Mars Remains a Mystery
Jeffrey Kluger / Time
A formation first spotted by amateur astronomers baffles the pros. It’s not often astronomers are completely stumped – especially when it comes to Mars.
Scientists have discovered nature’s newest strongest material
Sarah Kaplan / The Washington Post
It’s as strong as stell and tough as a bulletproof vest, capable of withstanding the same amount of pressure it takes to tunr carbon into a diamond. Scientists have discovered nature’s newest strongest material, and it comes from … a sea snail.
Middle East, Terrorism and Counterterrorism
Syrian Rebels Regain Ground Lost Near Aleppo
Syrian rebels on Wednesday regained much of the territory north of the city of Aleppo lost to government troops in fierce fighting the previous day in ongoing clashes that left more than 100 dead on both sides, activists said.
Islamic State accused of harvesting captives’ organs to fund terror
Cheryl Chumley / The Washington Times
Iraq’s ambassador to the United Nations is accusing the Islamic State of selling the organs of captives to fund its terror activities and has asked the U.N. Security Council to investigate.
In Pakistan, Vaccinating Children Has Become a Deadly Battle
Rebecca Santana / Associated Press
While vaccine distrust has sparked debates amid a measles outbreak in the United States, Pakistan is in a deadly battle to wipe out polio. Long eradicated I the West, polio remains and endemic in Pakistan after the Taliban banned vaccinations, attacks targeted medical staffers and suspicions lingered about the inoculations.
Terror Inc.: How the Islamic State became a branding behemoth
Alyssa Bereznak / Yahoo News
It’s been less than a year since IS burst onto the stage, seizing large amounts of territory and shocking the world with its brutally violent tactics. During that time, the group has evolved into a highly sophisticated multimedia organization, boasting slick social media strategies that could give major corporate marketing teams a run for their money.
Ukrainian forces quit besieged town after rebel assault
Gleb Garanich and Anton Zverev / Reuters
Government forces were pulling out of an encircled town in eastern Ukraine on Wednesday after a fierce assault by Russian –backed separatists which Kiev and Europe said violated the crumbling ceasefire.
Ukraine: US accuses Russia of breaching ceasefire after fighting at key town
Alec Luhn and Oksana Grystenko / The Guardian
The US has accused Russia of violating the ceasefire in Ukraine, amind reports that some Ukranian troops are pulling out of the key strategic rail hub of Debaltseve.
Copenhagen gunman used assault rifle, 2 handguns in attack
Jan Olsen / Associated Press
Danish police say the gunman behind weekend shootings at a free speech seminar and a synagogue in Copenhagen used an assault rifle and two hand guns in attacks. Omar Abdel Hamid El-Hussein, 22, was killed in a firefight with police early Sunday after a shooting spree that authorities say may have been inspired by the terror attacks in Paris last month.
More U.S. measles cases tied to Disneyland, Illinois day care outbreaks
Mike Stobbe / The Associated Press
The number of U.S. measles cases this year has risen to 141, the most of the new illness tied to outbreaks at Disneyland in California and an Illinois day care centre. Twenty new cases were added Tuesday to the tally by the CDC: 10 in California from the Disneyland outbreak, 8 from suburban Chicago outbreak at a day care centre, and two unrelated cases in Nevada.
Brazil finally gets some rain, but rationing still looms
Jeb Blount / Reuters
Heavy rains during Brazil’s four-and-a-half-day Carnival holiday offered the first relief in months for the country’s drought-stricken and economically crucial southeast, but was unlikely to end fears of water and electricity shortages.
At least 16 dead in Carnival parade accident in Haiti
Marila Brocchetto and Jason Hanna / CNN
At least 16 people were killed during Haiti’s national Carnival parade in an accident involving an electrical shock on a float, government officials said.
Pelosi, House Democrats trade snowy D.C. for sunny Cuba
Deirdre Walsh / CNN
A Washington snow storm closed downt he federal government on Tuesday but House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and eight House Democrats are taking advantage of the weeklong congressional recess and heading to sunny Cuba – for official congressional business of course.
Nigeria army ‘kills 300 Boko Haram fighters’
More than 300 Boko Haram fighters have been killed in military operations in north-east Nigeria, the army says. A number of militants had also been captured and weapons and equipment seized, defence spokesman Chris Olukolade said.
U.S. to support Cameroon military in Boko Haram fight
Tansa Musa / Reuters
The United States will help Cameroon’s army secure equipment to fight Boko Haram, its embassy in Cameroon said on Wednesday, as it deepens its commitment to countering the jihadist group.
India under pressure to explain who blew up Pakistani boat
Andrew MacAskill / Reuters
The Indian government is under pressure to explain what caused a Pakistani fishing boat to explode, killing four people on board in mysterious circumstances, after a senior Indian coast guard official said it was deliberately targeted.
B.O.J. says economy on mend, keeps ultra-loose monetary policy
Elaine Kurtenbach / Associated Press
Japan’s central bank pointed to signs of improvement in the world’ third-biggest economy after ending a policy meeting Wednesday with no change to its ultra-loose monetary stance. The Bank of Japan noted that lower energy costs due to the plunge in crude prices will slow progress towards its inflation target of 2 percent.
Lunar New Year celebrations begin in China and across Asia
Martin Patience / BBC News
Countries across Asia are beginning Lunar New Year celebrations to welcome in the year of the sheep. In China, hundreds of millions of people are traveling home in what is considered the world’s biggest annual human migration.
On Our Flashpoint Blog
To undermine our values, terrorists must resort to horrific acts of deplorable brutality. How advantageous that we need only give a girl a schoolbook for a proportionately horrified response.
Divestment Strategy Lacks Effectiveness for Addressing Climate Change
Recently there has been a large push among universities to divest their endowments away from fossil fuels, and this is based upon a false assumption that divestment is an effective tool for reducing emissions. Divestment alone does not actually produce any emission reductions though, since it ignores basic functions of the market.
Department of Defense Reducing Energy Consumption: Why This is a GREAT Thing
According to the Department of Energy’s Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP), energy used by the US Department of Defense fell to its lowest recorded level since fiscal year 1975 (FY 1975). DoD energy use fell to .75 quadrillion British thermal units (BTUs) in FY 2013, the lowest levels on record.
Today, national security leaders submitted a letter to Congress to impress the importance of reauthorizing the Export Import Bank (often referred to as Ex-Im). The bank furthers international trade and enhances American national security.
French Emphasize Climate Security
At this year’s Munich Security Conference, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius took the opportunity to stress the need to recognize climate change as a security issue. Fabius strongly emphasized the need for global cooperation, asserting that there should be a “universal” agreement arising from COP21. Fabius also pointed out that as a global community we are already experiencing the effects of climate change, and must address the need for adaptation to minimize the security impact.
TPA will give the administration more leeway to successfully conclude negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) as well as TTIP. Advancing the trade agenda, as the document outlines, “brings job to our shores, increases standards of living, strengthens our partners and allies, and promotes stability in critical regions.”
Obama’s National Security Policy: A New Assessment
February 25 @ 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm
On Thursday, February 12th, the American Security Project, a nonpartisan think-tank, will publish a report on effective measures to tackle climate change. It will highlight the ineffectiveness of divestment as a way to fight climate change and call for a campaign that instead focuses on effective measures to reduce emissions. The report will explore effective solutions that would actually reverse the effects of accelerating changes in our climate.
Discussion with Gov. Christine Todd Whitman: Climate Change Calls for Clean and Safe Energy
April 10 @ 10:00am – 11:00am
Join Governor Whitman at the World Affairs Council of Hilton Head Island as she discusses the important issue of climate change and its impact on clean, safe energy. She will recount her experience as governor as well as the Administrator of the EPA. Come join this exciting event.
ASP Recently Published
Effective Measures for Tackling Climate Change — Divestment
American Security Project
This report focuses on how effective fossil fuel divestment campaigns in the United States would be in combating the effects of global climate change, as well as explore various solutions that aim to mitigate and eventually reverse the effects of our current accelerating climate change.
White Paper – Military Public Diplomacy
American Security Project
The U.S. Department of State is hardly America’s sole player in the public diplomacy realm. For decades, the U.S. military has been at the forefront of America’s efforts to inform and influence public audiences abroad. Members of the United States Military are often the first Americans many foreign publics meet, and have a role in forging relationships and perceptions of America.
American Security Project
Yemen has entered a new phase of instability and uncertainty, as a conflict between the Houthis and the country’s government led by Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi eventually forced him and his cabinet to resign in January 2015. On January 25, Hadi then withdrew his resignation.
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