Center for Strategic Communication

Key Reads

Excessive Speed Probed in Amtrak Train Crash in Philadelphia
Kris Maher, Ted Mann, Andrew Tangel / The Wall Street Journal
At least 7 people dead and over 200 injured after train heading from Washington to New York derails.

Pakistan Massacre: 44 Ismailis Shot Dead on Karachi Bus
Wajahat S. Khan/NBC
Gunmen boarded a bus and killed dozens of members of a minority Muslim sect in Pakistan’s largest city Karachi on Wednesday, in what officials said was an act of terrorism.


American Competitiveness & Economic Diplomacy

Eurozone GDP Growth Accelerates, Boosted by France, Italy
Paul Hannon/Wall Street Journal
A return to expansion in France and Italy helped boost eurozone economic growth in the first three months of 2015 to its fastest pace in nearly two years, raising hopes that recovery is finally broadening in long-stagnant Europe.


China Launches Stimulus Aimed at Local Debt Crisis
Ling Ling Wei/Wall Street Journal
China is launching a broad stimulus to help local governments restructure trillions of dollars in debts while prodding banks to lend more, as fresh data added to signs of a worsening slowdown in the world’s second-largest economy.


National Security & Strategy

Islamic State deputy leader ‘killed in Iraq air strike’
The second-in-command of Islamic State (IS) has been killed in a US-led coalition air strike in northern Iraq, the Iraqi ministry of defense says.

No sign of missing U.S. aid helicopter after second Nepal quake
Ross Adkin, Kristin Mahr/Reuters
A daylong search failed to find a missing U.S. Marine helicopter on Wednesday, a day after the second Nepal earthquake in less than three weeks killed scores and triggered landslides across the Himalayan nation.

Pentagon, U.S. spy chief urge use of more Russian rocket engines
Andrea Shalal/Reuters
U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter and the nation’s spy chief this week urged a key Senate committee to amend federal law to allow a joint venture of the two largest U.S. arms makers to use more Russian RD-180 rocket engines.


Asymmetric Operations

1 More Killed in Burundi Before Regional Meeting on Violence
Gerard Nzohabana/Associated Press via ABC
One more demonstrator was killed in Burundi bringing the death toll to 15 in continuing protests in the capital over President Pierre Nkurunziza’s bid for a third term in office, an official said Tuesday.More than 220 have been injured in the protests, which are now in their third week.
Four children killed in rocket attack in Libya’s Benghazi city: officials
Ayman Al-Warfalli/Reuters
Four children were killed in rocket attack on an area of the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi where Islamic State militants claimed responsibility for a mortar attack, officials said on Wednesday.


Climate Security

Boston-area communities preparing for climate change
Associated Press via Boston Herald
Cities and towns in the Boston area will work together to prepare for climate chang, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh announced. This new pact among municipal leaders means cities and towns will work together to address critical regional infrastructure and systems and develop best practices and policy recommendations dealing with climate change.

Pope Francis aide blasts U.S. climate skeptics
Nick Gass/Politico
The pope’s closest adviser on Tuesday slammed climate-change skeptics, blaming capitalist motivations from “movements in the United States” for opposing the Catholic Church leader’s upcoming environmental letter.


Energy Security

LePage presses for streamlined energy permitting
Associated Press via Washington Times
Decrying interference from “overzealous activists” in the regulatory process, Maine Gov. Paul LePage on Wednesday pressed a House subcommittee to move forward with proposals that would streamline the permitting process for natural gas pipelines and cross-border hydropower projects that could help lower energy costs in New England.


Nuclear Security

China sets up three nuclear emergency response teams
Chinese nuclear developers have set up three emergency response teams to handle possible radiological accidents, eyeing a higher level of nuclear security as the country restarts its nuclear power build-up.


On Our Flashpoint Blog

Secretary Hagel Rejoins The American Security Project
American Security Project
Yesterday, the Board of Directors of the American Security Project officially welcomed one its founders, former senator and former Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel in rejoining the board.

 Shell Oil Co. Back in the Arctic: Why It’s Not As Bad As You Think
William George
The Obama administration granted Royal Dutch Shell conditional approval to start drilling for oil and natural gas in the Arctic as early as this summer.The deal, approved by the Interior Department’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), came with a list of conditions including rules to protect the environment, local wildlife and other ecological resources in the region.


What’s in a Name?: Boko Haram renames itself the Islamic State’s West Africa Province (ISWAP)
John Bugnacki
In early March, Boko Haram, the Islamist militant group based in northeastern Nigeria, declared its allegiance to the Islamic State (IS), also known as ISIS or Daesh. More recently, a few weeks ago, Boko Haram consolidated this relationship by renaming itself the Islamic State’s West Africa Province (ISWAP).


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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