Center for Strategic Communication

Key Reads


Stock Market Slide Continues in Beijing
Ylan Q. Mui, Drew Harwell, Simon Denyer / The Washington Post
A sharp stock market sell-off that began in Beijing clobbered Wall Street on Monday, sending shares plunging by record amounts amid renewed fears that the global economy is slowing down and world leaders are running out of ways to pump it back up.


Lebanon’s ‘Garbage Revolution’ Wants to Trash Dirty Politicians
Faysal Itani / The Daily Beast
Never an uneventful place, Lebanon is now in the throes of a “garbage protest” movement calling itself YouStink—the “you” referring to the country’s cabinet and broader political elite. Angered by a garbage collection breakdown that has trash piling up on the streets, thousands of protesters in Beirut have demanded the prime minister and his cabinet resign.



American Competitiveness


Global Stock Sell-Off Is a Big Test of U.S. Economy’s Resiliency
Don Lee / Los Angeles Times
A frenzied sell-off in international financial markets Monday heightened anxiety about the global economy, sending officials at central banks around the world looking urgently for ways to ease the latest bout of shocks and keep their economies from sliding further.



National Security & Strategy


S. Korea Agrees to End Broadcasts As North Expresses Regret for Provocations
Anne Fifield / The Washington Post
North and South Korea reached an agreement early Tuesday to resolve the showdown on the divided peninsula, with Pyongyang promising to express regret for recent provocations, including a land-mine attack that severely injured two South Korean soldiers.


Air Force to deploy F-22s to Europe
Thomas Gibbons-Neff / The Washington Post
The Air Force is set to deploy a small number of F-22 fighters to Europe, the first deployment of its kind, as a part of the continuing effort to reassure allies in the region, a senior Air Force official announced Monday.



Asymmetric Operations


New Report of ISIS Using Poison Gas in Syria
Karam Shoumali, Ceylan Yeginsu / The New York Times
The Islamic State may have used chemical agents in an attack against civilians and rival insurgents in northern Syria late last week, according to local rebels and an international aid group.  The assault on Friday in the city of Marea involved more than 50 shells and was centered on civilian areas, the Syrian American Medical Society, a humanitarian group, reported.


Iran Denies Plan to Swap Prisoners with United States
Bozorgmehr Sharafedin / Reuters
Iran is not considering a prisoner exchange with the United States, a senior official said on Tuesday, ahead of an expected verdict for an Iranian-American journalist held in Tehran for more than a year.


Group with No Jihadi Experience Rehabs ISIS Recruit
Katie Zavadski / The Daily Beast
An American citizen who pleaded guilty to supporting ISIS was ordered by a federal judge to leave jail—and go to a halfway home instead. That rehab program is run by a group that had no prior experience with would-be Islamic terrorists, The Daily Beast has learned.


French Investigators Question Train Gunman
Marianne Barriaux / Yahoo
French investigators on Tuesday had hours left to question a Moroccan gunman who opened fire on a crowded train, only to be overpowered by a group of Americans and a Briton hailed by France’s president for their “courage”.  Ayoub El Khazzani, a 25-year-old who boarded the high-speed train in Brussels bound for Paris on Friday armed with a Kalashnikov assault rifle, a Luger automatic pistol, ammunition and a box-cutter, is being questioned by anti-terror investigators, though he insists he only sought to rob passengers.



Climate Security


Carbon Credits Undercut Climate Change Actions Says Report
Matt McGrath / BBC
The vast majority of carbon credits generated by Russia and Ukraine did not represent cuts in emissions, according to a new study.  The authors say that offsets created under a UN scheme “significantly undermined” efforts to tackle climate change.  The credits may have increased emissions by 600 million tonnes.  In some projects, chemicals known to warm the climate were created and then destroyed to claim cash.



Energy Security


From Venezuela to Iraq to Russia, Oil Price Drops Raise Fears of Unrest
Clifford Krauss, Rick Gladstone / The New York Times
In oil-endowed Iraq, where an Islamic State insurgency and fractious sectarian politics are growing threats, a new source of instability erupted this month with violent protests over the government’s failure to provide reliable electricity and explain what has been done with all the promised petroleum money. In Russia, a leading oil producer, consumers are now paying far more for imports, largely because of their currency’s plummeting value. In Nigeria and Venezuela, which rely almost completely on oil exports, fears of unrest and economic instability are building.


Obama Flies to the Nevada Desert to Promote Solar Energy
Gardner Harris / The New York Times
President Obama flew west into the blistering sun of this desert oasis on Monday not so much to issue a dour warning about the dangers of climate change — moralizing does not become this freewheeling city — but to speak with great hope about solar and other renewable forms of energy.



Nuclear Security


IAEA Received ‘Substantive’ Data From Iran This Month
Shadia Nasralla / Reuters
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said on Tuesday it received substantive amounts of information from Iran aimed at quelling concerns its nuclear past had military elements, although it was too early to say whether any of it is new. The nuclear watchdog also warned that it will run out of money next month to monitor implementation of nuclear accords with Iran unless it gets more funding from member states to cover costs of the work set to reach around $10 million a year.



On Our Flashpoint Blog


Drought Threatens Food Security
Philip Rossetti
Food security is one of the most basic forms of security that a state needs to survive. Climate change presents a threat to global food security, and a recent study has shown that the U.S.’ food security is already being negatively impacted by climate change. The study, published in Geophysical Research Letters, concluded that 8-27% of the California drought is attributable to climate change. This marks one of the rare times where climate change can be said to have a directly contributed to a climate event, rather than merely increasing its probability.


TFTA: Africa’s Crucial Inflection Point
Maggie Feldman-Piltch
On August 10th, the following post by BCAS Chairperson Dante Disparte and Junior Adjunct Fellow John Bugnacki appeared on International Policy Digest.  On June 10, 2015, at the 25th African Union Summit in Cairo, Egypt, African leaders signed the Tripartite Free Trade Agreement (TFTA). Prior to its signing, the agreement had been in negotiations for seven years.



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