What We Are Reading

posted by Mitchell Freddura on August 30, 2012 at 12:09 pm

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30 August 2012

 

 

The Chemical Threat to America

Christine Todd Whitman

SINCE Sept. 11, 2001, the American government, under two presidents, has taken unprecedented steps to ensure the safety of its citizens. Unfortunately, more than a decade later, a major flaw in our national security remains, leaving millions of Americans at risk. It’s a flaw that policy makers have known about for years but not yet done enough to fix.

 

Iran’s Khamenei Rules out Nuclear Bomb

Voice of America

Iran’s Supreme Leader says his country will never develop an atomic bomb, but will not abandon its controversial nuclear program.

 

North Korea’s “New Look” Nuclear Program

Scott Snyder/ Council on Foreign Relations

North Korea’s “new look” leadership, including speculation about both leadership and potential economic reforms, have drawn the lion’s share of media attention in recent weeks. As a result, the fact that North Korea’s nuclear program continues unchecked has dropped from the headlines…

Georgia Frees Hostages Along Border With Russia

Olesya Vartanyan and David M. Herszenhorn/New York Times

After a gun battle with militants from Dagestan, Georgian authorities have freed five hostages.  The President of Georgia has accused Russia of “exporting its disorder.”

 

Secessionist winds blow on Kenya’s coast

Brian Dabbs/Al Jazeera

The Mombasa Republican Council (MRC) is gaining support in Kenya’s coastal areas, where residents cite 50 years of “endemic land theft, resource exploitation and employment discrimination” as the foundation of its popularity.

 

Combined Force Arrests Taliban Weapons Supplier

American Forces Press Service

An Afghan and coalition security force arrested a Taliban weapons supplier providing leaders in the Ghazni province with IEDs and other weapons and ammunition.

 

Tweeting Jihadists: the next generation of militants

Christian Science Monitor

Islamic Extremists are using social media to provide the jihadist take on current events and conflict.

 

Iran Increases Underground Nuclear Capacity Sharply: Diplomats

Reuters

A U.N. watchdog report is expected to show that Iran has expanded its potential capacity to refine uranium in an underground site by at least 30 percent since May, diplomats say, adding to Western worries over Tehran’s nuclear aims.

 

Polar Melting Signals End of ‘Pax Americana’

Irvin Studin/Financial Times

In the 20th century, North America was the world’s luckiest continent. While every other region, including Australia, had very direct and intimate experience of warfare on its territory, the continental US and Canada – “core” North America, as it were – were mercifully exempt.

 

Ethiopia: What Might Desalegn’s Premiership Bring?

Addis Dimts Radio 

Ethiopia is moving into an uncertain new era. With the death of Prime Minister Meles Zenawi who had ruled the country since 1991, the country is moving into the realm of the unknown with regards to politics and leadership…

 

Drone Strikes:”Least Horrible” Choice in Pakistan

Sydney J. Freedman/Yemen Times

In lawless, inaccessible regions of the world, drone strikes are America’s least-worst option for pursuing terrorists, a panel of experts agreed today — and many of the civilians whose deaths are blamed on U.S. drones were actually killed by local factions on the ground or never existed at all.

 

U.S. Public Diplomacy Increasing Domestic Outreach

Steven R. Corman/ ASU Center for Strategic Communication

I have been following developments in public diplomacy for close to twelve years now.  Lately I have noticed something new: Messages in my inbox from Tara Sonenshine, the new Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs (whose department, for arcane reasons, is known as “R”).

 

“Ping Pong Diplomacy” Marked in New York

CRI English

Former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger attended a reception at the Chinese consulate in New York to commemorate the 40th anniversary of “Ping Pong Diplomacy,” which helped put China-U.S. relations back on track.

 

U.S. Department of State Announces American Music Abroad Tour in Asia

U.S. Department of State

The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, in partnership with American Voices, announced today that the Birmingham, Alabama-based Acoustic Rock/Americana group Act of Congress will tour Asia this fall as part of the American Music Abroad series.

 

With rising greenhouse gases, U.S. heat waves to become more common & longer-lasting

ClimateWatch Magazine        

Heat waves like the one that punished the central United States in July 2012 may be more common and longer-lasting by the time today’s children are raising their own families, according to results from a high-resolution climate model experiment conducted by scientists at NOAA’s Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory.

 

Weakening Tropical Storm Isaac Eases Gulf Energy Threat

Brian K. Sullivan / Bloomberg BusinessWeek

Tropical Storm Isaac’s threat to offshore energy production in the Gulf of Mexico eased as the weather system weakened while still dumping rain and producing storm surges over Louisiana. Forecasters expect it to become a tropical depression later today.

 

White House Finalizes 2025 “Historic” Fuel Rules for Automakers

David Shepardson / The Detroit News

The Obama administration gave the final green light Tuesday to landmark 2017-25 fuel economy rules that will nearly double the efficiency of the nation’s cars and trucks over the next 13 years, to a fleet-wide average of 54.5 miles per gallon.

 

From Our Flashpoint Blog

Commemorating the International Day against Nuclear Tests

Aaron Hesse

August 29th however, is International Day Against Nuclear Tests. Not exactly Christmas, but nonetheless an important day of which Americans should take note.

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