International News Coverage
Middle East, Terrorism and Counterterrorism
Oil slide could trigger Opec emergency meeting
Anjli Raval / Financial Times
Members of Opec have discussed holding an emergency meeting if crude continues to slide, according to Nigeria’s oil minister, in a sign of their growing alarm over the impact of a lower oil price on their economies.
Islamic State in Syria abducts at least 90 from Christian villages: monitor
Suleiman Al-Khalidi / Reuters
Islamic State militants have abducted at least 90 people from Assyrian Christian villages in northeastern Syria, a monitoring group that tracks violence in Syria said on Tuesday. The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the militants carried out dawn raids on rural villages inhabited by the ancient Christian minority west of Hasaka, a city mainly held by the Kurds.
Yemen crisis: Houthi rebels threaten to try ministers
Shia rebels in Yemen have threatened to try for treason Prime Minister Khaled Bahah and all members of his cabinet if they refuse to return to work.
Special Report: How Iran’s military chiefs operate in Iraq
Ned Parker, Babak Dehghanpisheh and Isabel Coles/ Reuters
The face stares out from multiple billboards in central Baghdad, a grey-haired general casting a watchful eye across the Iraqi capital. This military commander is not Iraqi, though. He’s Iranian.
EU ministers approve Greek deal, EU Commission euro chief says
Alastair Macdonald/ Reuters
Euro zone finance ministers agreed in a conference call on Tuesday that a Greek request for a bailout extension could now go ahead, subject to approval by member state parliaments, the European Commission vice president for the euro said.
Ukraine ‘will not withdraw heavy artillery from the front line’
Roland Oliphant / The Telegraph
Ukraine will not withdraw heavy artillery from the front line as required under a peace agreement because of continued fighting, officials said on Monday.
Malmström: Germany’s TTIP debate ‘more heated’
Daniel Tost / EurActive
In 25 EU member states, the majority of the population supports the planned EU-US free trade deal TTIP. But in Germany, its opponents are in the majority, something EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström could not explain during her visit to Berlin.
French lawmakers in first Damascus visit for three years
John Irish and Mark John / Reuters
A cross-party group of French lawmakers held talks with Syrian officials in Damascus on Tuesday, the first such contacts in the Syrian capital since the closure of France’s embassy there in 2012.
Brazil prosecutor looks to block corruption leniency deal: report
Stephen Eisenhammer / Reuters
A Brazilian prosecutor sought to block a possible government leniency deal with construction and engineering companies implicated in a giant bribery and money laundering scheme at state-run oil company Petrobras, according to a document published Saturday on a Brazilian news site.
Fed Chief Janet Yellen: Rate Increases Draw Nearer as Economy Strengthens
Jon Hilsenrath, Pedro Nicolaci Da Costa and Ben Leubsdorf / Wall Street Journal
Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen sought to lay the groundwork for interest-rate increases later this year and sounded positive notes on the economy’s performance in the past six months.
Haitian activists urge US to halt deportations for minor crimes
Some have been forced to leave after offenses like a late rental car return, says human rights expert as report notes 1,500 deportations in five years.
Suicide Bomber Kills 12 at Bus Station in Northeast Nigeria
Adamu Adamu / ABC News
A man forced his way onto a bus at a crowded bus station and detonated explosives that killed 12 people and injured 20 in northeast Nigeria, according to the bus driver and hospital records.
U.S. woman missionary kidnapped in central Nigeria
An American woman working as a Christian missionary in Nigeria was kidnapped overnight, the website of the Free Methodist Church and a security source said on Tuesday.
Clashes kill 17 in China’s restive west
Tom Phillips / The Telegraph
Seventeen people have reportedly been hacked, stabbed or shot to death in the latest episode of deadly violence to hit China’s far west. The killings came during a bloody “showdown” between police and villagers in Xinjiang’s Aksu prefecture, according to Radio Free Asia.
Shanghai Petitioners Descend on Beijing Ahead of Annual Parliament
Yang Fan and Hai Nan / Radio Free Asia
Around 1,000 petitioners from Shanghai have converged on Beijing ahead of China’s parliamentary sessions next month in a bid to highlight their complaints against local governments. But petitioners who get past a tight security cordon around Tiananmen Square, including security scanners and bag searches for documents, are promptly detained and taken to unofficial detention centers on the outskirts of Beijing.
Energy Security, Science and Technology, Climate Change
Can Obama, GOP reach consensus on cybersecurity?
Reena Flores / CBS News
After cyberhacks across America’s most lucrative industries — particularly in health (with insurance giant Anthem), finance (JP Morgan Chase) and Hollywood (Sony Pictures) — the Republican Party said that such cyber-assaults are a “crucial challenge” the nation can’t afford to ignore.
Google being investigated by Russian competition watchdog over Android
Anti-monopoly authority confirms investigation following complaints from competitor Yandex, alleging company abuses smartphone operating system domination.
Modi bets on GM crops for India’s second green revolution
Krishna N. Das and Mayank Bhardwaj / Reuters
On a fenced plot not far from Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home, a field of mustard is in full yellow bloom, representing his government’s reversal of an effective ban on field trials of genetically modified (GM) food crops.
On Our Flashpoint Blog
Eurozone Reaches Preliminary Deal With Greece
After a week of tense negotiations, the finance ministers of the Eurozone have managed to carve out a preliminary deal with Greece. Previous attempts by Greece to renegotiate the terms of their bailout program failed last Monday.
While the world’s focus has been directed towards Iraq and Syria for several years, another threat has been developing in the destabilized, extremist recruitment pool known as Libya.
In an Op-Ed this morning in the The Hill, Paul Hamill wrote with Fadi Elsalameen, one of ASP’s Senior Adjunct Fellows, the need for the United States and its allies to support Arab nations and Arab solutions.
ASP in : “Climate Change Activists Dismiss Fossil Fuel Divestment Push as Waste of Time, Resources”
A report released by ASP last week detailing the overall ineffectiveness of fossil fuel divestment was featured in an article published by The Washington Times on Thursday. The article details the recent scrutiny the fossil fuel divestment has come under from analysts, scientists, and academic professors.
Ambassador Froman on the Geopolitical Stakes of America’s Trade Policy
In an op-ed published on Wednesday by Foreign Policy, Ambassador Michael Froman, the U.S. trade representative, outlines why international trade has become one of America’s most important foreign policy tools.
The Need for a Faster Global Health Response
The West Africa Ebola epidemic can now see the light at the end of the tunnel. With over 22,000 cases and over 9,000 deaths, it is the largest Ebola outbreak since the virus was discovered almost forty years ago. The staggering loss of life in the region coupled with the destruction of families and communities is unfathomable. The importance of the wide media coverage and the large death tolls inflicted by Ebola is the lessons the local and international health organizations can learn from this.
Obama’s National Security Policy: A New Assessment
February 25 @ 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm
Join the American Security Project on Wednesday, February 25, 2015 as we host researcher Seyom Brown as he discusses the national security policies of the Obama Administration versus previous presidents.
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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