Turkey might join TTIP with new agreement
Speaking at the General Assembly of the Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu gave good news about the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). “By renewing the Customs Union agreement with the European Union on May 11, we will have more say in transatlantic trade,” Davutoğlu said.
Logan Airport drafts climate change plan
David Abel / Boston Globe
In a major effort to address climate change, officials at Logan International Airport plan to make significant cuts to carbon emissions, curb energy consumption, and spend millions of dollars to protect runways and terminals from rising seas.
American Competitiveness & Economic Diplomacy
IMF to Brighten View of China’s Yuan
Ian Talley / Wall Street Journal
The International Monetary Fund is close to declaring China’s yuan fairly valued for the first time in more than a decade, a milestone in the country’s efforts to open its economy that would blunt U.S. criticism of Beijing’s currency policy.
China Passes Mexico as the Top Source of New U.S. Immigrants
Neil Shah / Wall Street Journal
China was the country of origin for 147,000 recent U.S. immigrants in 2013, while Mexico sent just 125,000, according to a Census Bureau study by researcher Eric Jensen and others presented Friday. India, with 129,000 immigrants, also beat Mexico, though the two countries’ results weren’t statistically different from each other.
National Security & Strategy
France confirms Rafale fighter jet sales to Qatar
The agreement worth some 6.3 billion euros is the third of its kind for Dassault Aviation after deals to sell Rafales to Egypt and India.
Revenge killings in Iraq worry Western allies
Murray Brewster / Metro News
Canadian and American officials in Iraq are worried about a rising tide of bloody revenge killings and sectarian score-settling in communities newly liberated from the grip of Islamic State extremists, say federal sources in both western countries.
Bill would create ‘hostage czar’ to coordinate efforts to rescue Americans
Adam Goldman / Washington Post
A Maryland congressman introduced legislation Friday that would create a “hostage czar,” a high-level position at the National Security Council that would centralize efforts to find and free U.S. hostages.
Kerry Pledges New Refugee Aid for Kenya
Pamela Dockins / Voice of America
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has announced millions of dollars in new aid for Africa at a Monday news conference in Nairobi, Kenya.
Baltic military shadow-boxing said to rival Cold War levels
A daily game of Cold War cat-and-mouse is ratcheting up tensions in the Baltic and drawing the biggest military presence into the region for over 20 years, Swedish military officials say.
A United Army for the Arab World?
Hussein Ibish / New York Times
When, at its March summit meeting, the Arab League announced that it intended to create a unified command for a joint Arab military force, eyes rolled. Given how divided the Arab states are, and how poorly most historical efforts at Arab military coordination have fared, this was widely assumed to be another empty rhetorical gesture.
Former CIA official cites agency’s failure to see al-Qaeda’s rebound
Greg Miller / Washington Post
U.S. intelligence agencies badly misjudged al-Qaeda’s ability to take advantage of political turmoil in the Middle East and regain strength across the region after Osama bin Laden was killed, according to a new book by the CIA’s former deputy director.
Iraqi city still a ghost town a month after defeat of IS
Sameer Yacoub and Paul Schemm / Associated Press
Iraqi government forces drove the Islamic State group out of Abu Mustafa’s hometown of Tikrit over a month ago, but he has yet to return, fearing the Shiite militias that now patrol its bombed and battered streets.
Climate change threatens major building projects, say Chinese expert
Climate change threatens some of China’s most important infrastructure projects, China’s top meteorologist has warned, and added that its rate of warming was higher than the global average.
Tesla Energy: Elon Musk Reveals His Plan to Change the Way the World Uses Energy
Alyssa Newcomb / ABC News
CEO Elon Musk unveiled batteries on Thursday night that he said will help move homes, businesses and utilities away from the power grid and toward a more sustainable future with renewable energy.
Is Solar Energy Ready to Compete With Oil and Other Fossil Fuels?
The solar energy industry may prove to be a dark horse in the race to provide global energy security. The world has renewed its interest in solar energy investment as it searches for a cleaner and more sustainable alternative to conventional fossil fuels.
Senate prepares to advance bill on Iran nuclear deal
Jake Miller / CBS News
Republican Senate leaders, worried that proposals from conservatives in their caucus could upend the fragile bipartisan agreement on legislation targeting the Iranian nuclear deal, are poised to cut off debate on the bill, Politico reports.
On Our Flashpoint Blog
A Few Points on the Geopolitics of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership
Washington is abuzz once again with talk of free trade, presidential authority, and Congressional responsibility. Last week’s announcement that movement is being made towards fast-track authority for President Obama in vital trade deals is an encouraging sign that the U.S. Congress is serious about advancing free trade in the coming years.
Non-Proliferation Through Strength: A Hawk’s Case for a Deal With Iran
Sungtae “Jacky” Park
A major concern that opponents of the recent nuclear framework deal with Iran have is that the final agreement will leave Iran as a “nuclear threshold state” after a decade. Those who make such arguments, however, do not adequately take into account the demand-side of proliferation.
Abe-San Comes to Washington: 5 Things to Watch
As Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe comes to Washington this week to make his unprecedented address to a joint Congress, his mission will be to realign Japan and the United States in such a way that outlasts the current administration.
Governor Todd Whitman on Future Nuclear Power, SMRs
Governor Whitman explained in her blog the great potential of “small modular reactors” (SMR) in addressing both the demand for energy and the need to reduce carbon emissions. Meeting both of these requirements has been a major barrier in addressing climate and energy security needs.
ASP Recently Published
Critical Issues Facing Russia and the Former Soviet Union: Governance and Corruption
American Security Project
When it comes to Russia and the other post-Soviet states, corruption is the subject of constant academic, policy, and popular debate. According to many, persistent corruption is the major factor undermining post-Soviet states from achieving broad-based political, economic, and social development along liberal-democratic lines.
Environmental Threats to Louisiana’s Future: Climate Change
American Security Project
As one of the centers of energy production, transit, and storage, Louisiana is a hub for the whole country. This ensures that any problems in Louisiana are transferred throughout the country by energy price volatility and uncertainty.
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