Islamic State attacks Syrian rebels near Turkish border
Tom Perry / Reuters
Islamic State has launched a new offensive against Syrian rebels north of Aleppo, gaining ground near the Turkish-Syrian border in an area where Turkey and the United States aim to create an area free of the jihadist group.
Turkish air strikes hit 17 Kurdish militant targets, military says
Ece Toksabay and Seymus Cakan / Reuters
Turkish warplanes hit 17 Kurdish militant targets in the southeastern province of Hakkari on Monday and Tuesday, the military said, as it ratchets up an offensive against the insurgents.
Yuan Devaluation Won’t Fix All for China’s Exporters
Brian Spegele / Wall Street Journal
China’s decision to devalue its currency modestly benefits the nation’s sagging manufacturing sector, but is far from a cure-all for China’s exporters.
Oil Drops to Lowest Level Since March as OPEC Output Increases
Mark Shenk and Grant Smith / Washington Post
West Texas Intermediate futures fell as much as 3.7 percent. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries raised output by 100,700 barrels a day to 31.5 million last month, the most since June 2012, the group said in its monthly report, citing external sources. Crude also declined as China devalued its currency, fanning concern that demand in the world’s second-biggest oil user may slow as import costs rise.
National Security & Strategy
Issue of where to move Guantanamo detainees threatens closure plan
Adam Goldman and Missy Ryan / Washington Post
A renewed push by the White House to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, has been bogged down by an internal disagreement over its most controversial provision — where to house detainees who will be brought to the United States for trial or indefinite detention, according to U.S. officials.
ISIS claims suicide bombing in central Iraqi city of Baquba that kills at least 30
Mohammed Tawfeeq and Greg Botelho / CNN
A suicide car bomb ripped through a busy outdoor market Monday night near the Iraqi city of Baquba, killing at least 30 people and wounding 40 others, police and health officials said.
Saudi Arabia rejects Russian calls to work with Assad against Islamic State
AFP / Express Tribune
Moscow – one of Assad’s few remaining allies – has called for coordination between the Syrian government and members of an international coalition fighting the extremist group, which controls swathes of territory in Syria and Iraq.
ISIS seen building capacity for mass casualty attacks
Jim Sciutto / CNN
Some in the U.S. intelligence community warn that ISIS may be working to build the capability to carry out mass casualty attacks, a significant departure from the terror group’s current focus on encouraging lone wolf attacks, a senior U.S. intelligence official told CNN on Friday.
Australia Sets Emissions Goal, but Climate Scientists Say It Falls Short
Michelle Innis / New York Times
Prime Minister Tony Abbott on Tuesday announced a greenhouse gas reduction goal for Australia that he said struck “the right balance” between economic concerns and the need to address climate change, but scientists and environmental groups said the plan fell short of what was needed.
Alaskan gov. eyes natural gas as climate solution
John Siciliano / Washington Examiner
Alaska Gov. Bill Walker wants natural gas development in his huge home state to take center stage in complying with the Environmental Protection Agency’s emission rules for power plants, and will seek to raise his plans directly with President Obama.
Wind power hits lower price on record
Timothy Cama / The Hill
The cost of electricity from wind power fell to its lowest point on record last year as the industry continued its growth pattern, according to the Department of Energy (DOE).
Natural Gas Rises on Hotter Weather
Nicole Friedman / Wall Street Journal
Natural-gas prices rose to an eight-session high Monday as forecasts for above-normal temperatures in the next two weeks boosted demand expectations.
Japan Takes Step Toward Reviving Nuclear Industry as It Restarts Reactor
Jonathan Soble / New York Times
For more than four years since the nuclear meltdowns in Fukushima in 2011, Japan has been debating whether it should permanently abandon a technology that went so disastrously wrong but that for years was seen as essential to its economy.
On Our Flashpoint Blog
ISDS: An In-Depth Look at a Crucial Part of Free Trade
Negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) are concluding. Final negotiating rounds will focus on the contentious issue of Investor-State Dispute Settlement, a means of settling legal disputes between foreign investors and host nations through a neutral arbitration process. Known as ISDS, this process encourages foreign investment by establishing a standardized, impartial system of arbitration designed to provide safeguards to foreign investors.
The Economics of Debt in Puerto Rico
Recently, commentators have dubbed Puerto Rico as “America’s Greece.” While both Greece and Puerto Rico have major debts that cannot be repaid due to struggling domestic economies, the easy comparison leaves out important details about the debt crisis in Puerto Rico. With a more complete understanding of the situation in Puerto Rico, possible solutions become easier to identify.
Understanding the Iran Nuclear Deal | August 4, 2015 ASP Event
In ASP’s Understanding the Iran Nuclear Deal event, ASP board member Adm. William J. Fallon, USN (Ret.), award winning author Dr. Trita Parsi, Harvard graduate and AL-Monitor writer Laura Rozen were hosted by ASP. The event was moderated by ASP CEO BGen. Stephen A. Cheney, USMC (Ret.). The panel discussed the Iran Nuclear Deal and how this can be one step of many in improving the diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Iran.
Dante Disparte on Puerto Rico Default
On Tuesday, August 4th, Business Council for American Security Chairperson Dante Disparte spoke to the BBC World Business Report about the latest development in the Puerto Rican debt crisis. Puerto Rico missed a $58 million bond payment on Monday, sending the island territory into default for the first time. In his interview, Disparte mentioned several of the issues contributing to Puerto Rico’s debt troubles.
A State of Emergency: Tunisia’s New Anti-terror Law and Wall
On July 31st, Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi extended the nation’s state of emergency for another two months. With two large-scale terror attacks against foreign nationals since March, President Essebsi and the legislative body have taken a firmer role against terrorist threats. Along with placing the nation under a state of emergency, the government has recently passed an anti-terror law and proposed establishing an “anti-terror” wall to tackle insurgent forces.
ASP Recently Published
Perspective—Energy and Geopolitics in the Eastern Mediterranean
American Security Project
Since 2009, there have been a succession of substantial natural gas finds in the Levantine Basin, under the Mediterranean Sea between Israel and Cyprus. How to regulate, tax, and export the gas continues to be controversial in Israeli politics. However, the strategic benefits of using energy resources to more closely tie Israel with its long-hostile neighbors are too compelling to ignore. This report analyzes the risks and opportunities involved in such an endeavor.
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