Center for Strategic Communication

ASP: In Case You Missed It…

25 February 2015


International News Coverage


Middle East, Terrorism and Counterterrorism


Activist: ISIS holds 150 Christian hostages, will threaten to kill them

Laura Smith-Spark and John Vause / CNN

ISIS is holding many more Assyrian Christians hostage than previously thought — and it is reportedly planning to release a message Wednesday threatening to kill them.


Afghanistan avalanches triggered by heavy snow kill at least 100

Ali M. Latifi and Shashank Bengali / Los Angeles Times

At least 100 people have been killed in avalanches following severe snowfall in northeast Afghanistan, officials said Wednesday as rescue crews struggled to reach the affected areas.


Muslim Anti-Terrorism Conference Calls For Education Reform

Associated Press

An anti-terrorism conference in Saudi Arabia attended by Muslim clerics from around the world has ended with leaders calling for reform in religious studies to promote moderation and tolerance.


U.S. charges three with conspiring to support Islamic State

Joseph Ax / Reuters

Three men were charged on Wednesday with conspiring to support Islamic State, including two who planned to travel to Syria to fight on behalf of the radical group, U.S. authorities said.





3 Al-Jazeera journalists arrested for flying drone in Paris

Thomas Adamson / Associated Press

Three Al-Jazeera journalists have been arrested for illegally flying a drone in Paris Wednesday, after unidentified drones flew over the Eiffel Tower and key Paris landmarks for a second night running. It’s further baffled French authorities who are investigating a spate of unidentified flying objects in the Paris skies at a time of high security across the country.


EU Warns Of New Sanctions If Ukraine Peace Deal Collapses

Raf Casert / Associated Press

European Union President Donald Tusk warned on Wednesday that the EU will not hesitate to impose new punishment on the separatists and Russia if the latest Ukraine peace deal collapses.


Putin threatens to cut gas to Ukraine as showdowns shift to economy

Michael Birnbaum / The Washington Post

Russia shifted its showdown with Ukraine to economic pressure on Wednesday, as Russian President Vladimir Putin threatened to cut off natural gas within days even as fighting finally started to quiet in war-torn eastern Ukraine.


Turkish Police Arrested and Accused of Wiretapping President Erdogan

Ceylan Yeginsu / The New York Times

Police officers in Turkey arrested dozens of fellow officers on Wednesday accused of wiretapping President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and top government officials.




The Americas


Oil Boom’s End Threatens Pain For Much Of Latin America

Jacobo G. Garcia / Associated Press

Soaring oil prices the past decade transformed this rural backwater into Colombia’s richest city as nearby fields pumped black gold, drawing new businesses, international pop stars and vanity art projects such as the biblical-themed arch that towers over these sweltering grasslands.


Cuba says terror list, banking issues are blocking better ties with the U.S.

Nick Miroff / The Washington Post

With the United States and Cuba set to resume talks Friday in Washington on the restoration of diplomatic relations, a senior Cuban official said his government wants to be removed from the U.S. list of terrorism-sponsoring nations and to be able to reopen U.S. bank accounts in order for the process to move forward.




Suicide bombers kill at least 26 across north Nigeria

Joe Hemba and Nnekule Ikemfuna / Reuters

Suicide bombers struck two bus stations in different parts of northern Nigeria on Tuesday, killing at least 26 people in attacks President Goodluck Jonathan blamed on Boko Haram, the Islamist militant group he said would soon be defeated.


20,000 Egyptians Flee Libya After Beheadings, Airstrikes

Associated Press

An Egyptian border official says some 20,000 Egyptians have fled Libya since the release of a grisly beheading video by Islamic State militants.


Chad’s Army Helps Turn Tide Against Boko Haram

Michael M. Phillips and Drew Hinshaw / Wall Street Journal

Falling prices of cows and the rising cost of diapers in Chad have turned the tide in neighboring Nigeria’s six-year war with Boko Haram.






Bus Overturns In Northwestern China, Killing 22

Associated Press

A bus overturned on a highway in China’s far western region of Xinjiang, killing 22 people and injuring 38, state media said Wednesday.


China ejects spy chief from group of advisers: Xinhua

Sui-Lee Wee / Reuters

China has dropped one of its espionage chiefs from a high-profile panel of advisers, official news agency Xinhua said on Wednesday, after the ruling Communist Party announced he was being investigated for corruption.




Energy Security, Science and Technology, Climate Change


Sim card firm links GCHQ and NSA to hack attacks

BBC News

The Dutch Sim card maker at the centre of NSA-GCHQ hacking claims has said it believes that the US and UK cyberspy agencies did indeed launch attacks on its computer systems. However, Gemalto denied that billions of mobile device encryption keys could have been stolen as a result.


WHO calls for more measles vaccination in Europe as large outbreaks persist

Kate Kelland / Reuters

The World Health Organization in Europe called on Wednesday for measles vaccination campaigns to be stepped up across the region after recording 22,000 cases of the highly infectious disease since the start of 2014.


Exposing infants to peanuts causes big reduction in peanut allergy, study shows

Lenny Bernstein / The Washington Post

Peanut allergy, an occasionally life-threatening condition that has prompted changes in food consumption rules everywhere from pre-schools to airlines, can be sharply reduced by feeding peanut protein to children at risk for the condition beginning when they are infants, researchers reported in a landmark study Monday.


On Our Flashpoint Blog


Falsely Framed Debates about Our Options on Iran

BGen Stephen A. Cheney and Sungtae “Jacky” Park

The two actual alternatives that Washington must choose between are an Iran without nuclear weapons as a result of a deal or an Iran with nuclear weapons which could eventually emerge out of failed negotiations.


America’s Role in the Arctic: Opportunity and Security in the High North

Andrew Holland

Today, melting ice is opening the Arctic to economic exploitation. Inevitably, geopolitics has followed, with countries as far from the Arctic as China, India, and Singapore expressing interest in the region. Russia has significantly stepped up its military activity along their Arctic shore and in the Arctic Sea.


Eurozone Reaches Preliminary Deal With Greece

Hugo Grondel

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.


Egypt Calls on Allies

Luke Lorenz

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.


Supporting the Arab Solution

Paul Hamill

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”

William George

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

Hugo Grondel

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.
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Well-informed congressional leaders are key to ensuring the national security of our nation. For that reason, American Security Project (ASP), is hosting a breakfast roundtable discussion on strategic approaches to national security issues from a nonpartisan perspective.


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

Global Natural Gas Pivot to Asia

American Security Project

Asia currently has two of the world’s three largest economies, and its energy needs to fuel these economies are continuing to grow. Energy suppliers are increasingly looking to exploit this market demand, trying to secure their market share in an economy with a long term demand. To this effect, energy suppliers are looking to how they can best fulfill the needs of the Asian energy markets.


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.


Fact Sheet: Yemen (2015)

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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