What We Are Reading

What We Are Reading

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Key Reads

US reports highest one-day coronavirus death of any country
Justine Coleman / The Hill
The most recent daily death toll in the U.S. surpassed the total recorded by any country in one day amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Coronavirus putting world on track for new Great Depression, says WTO
Larry Elliot / The Guardian
International trade has dried up as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and could be on course for a collapse as severe as that of the 1930s Great Depression, the World Trade Organization has said.


American Competitiveness

Stocks open higher on Wall Street; markets remain unsettled
Associated Press
Stocks are opening moderately higher on Wall Street following weakness overseas as global trading remains unstable amid deep uncertainty over how bad the economic toll of the coronavirus will be.

Coronavirus: Iran appeals for $5bn IMF loan as deaths pass 4,000
Iran has urged the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to approve a $5bn (£4bn) emergency loan to help fight the coronavirus, as its death toll passed 4,000.


Asymmetric Operations

Afghan official: Taliban kill 7 civilians in country’s north
Associated Press
At least seven Afghan civilians were killed when the Taliban attacked security forces in northern Balkh province, local officials said Wednesday.

Explosion on road in southeast Turkey kills 5
Associated Press
An improvised explosive device went off on a road in southeast Turkey on Wednesday, killing five forestry workers traveling to work, officials said.

Afghan government says will release 100 Taliban prisoners
Al Jazeera
The Afghan government will release 100 Taliban prisoners on Wednesday, a government official said, a day after the armed group said it was walking out of talks with Kabul.


Climate Security

Report: Outbreak triggers drop in climate-changing emissions
Ellen Knickmeyer / Associated Press
The agency’s Energy Information Administration projects a 7.5% drop in fossil fuel emissions for 2020. That would be the biggest cut in U.S. energy emissions since at least 1990, EIA records show. The year after the start of the 2008 recession saw a 7.3% decline.


Energy Security

Saudi Crude Oil Armada Heads for U.S.
Brian Wingfield / Bloomberg
On the final day of March, the supertanker Newton, loaded with crude from Saudi Arabia, did something rarely seen in the world of oil trading: it abruptly diverted from its original destination, Egypt, setting sail for the U.S. Gulf Coast instead.

Oil jumps ahead of OPEC-led talks on output cuts
Reuters / CNBC
Oil prices jumped on Wednesday, supported by hopes that a meeting between OPEC members and allied producers on Thursday will trigger output cuts to shore up prices that have collapsed due to the coronavirus pandemic.


National Security Strategy

EU must keep pressure on Hungary, Poland on rule of law: French official
French President Emmanuel Macron has called on Iran to respect its nuclear obligations as the world focuses its attention on the coronavirus pandemic.


Nuclear Security

Macron Calls On Iran To Respect Nuclear Obligations In Call With Rohani
Radio Free Europe Radio Liberty
The European Commission must keep putting political pressure on Hungary and Poland regarding the rule of law in both countries, a French official said on Wednesday, adding that financial pressure could be brought to bear on them as well.


US-Russia Relations

Putin proposes additional coronavirus relief measures
Vladimir Soldatkin, Darya Korsunskaya, and Alexander Marrow / Reuters
President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday proposed additional measures to support businesses and workers during the coronavirus crisis and said that Russia could not simply shut its economy down due to potentially destructive consequences.


Recent Reports

Perspective – A Closer Look at the U.S. Strategy on Sanctions
Andrew Holland & Rossella Cerulli
This report examines the U.S.’ current strategy on sanctions. Past strategies have shown that broad sanctions fail to accomplish their goals.

White Paper – A New American Message
Matthew Wallin
Since the end of the Cold War, the United States has struggled to establish a credible, effective message suitable for competing in modern times. This paper discusses the problems in America’s current message and recommends behaviors to improve its credibility overseas.


On Our Flashpoint Blog

ARPA-E Announces $32 Million in Fusion Funding
Andrew Holland
The Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy has announced recipients of its $32 million BETHE (Breakthroughs Enabling THermonuclear-fusion Energy) program.

Americans Can’t Afford Weaker Fuel Efficiency Standards. Neither Can the Planet.
Nicholas Cropper
The Trump Administration’s recent rollback of Obama-era fuel efficiency standards is based on “implausible” assumptions about automakers, consumer purchasing trends, and climate science. The new standard increases U.S. dependence on foreign oil and could result in tens of thousands of additional pollution-related deaths.

A Deep Dive Into Climate Security with Dr. Katharine Hayhoe
American Security Project
Host Alex Hackbarth and Dr. Katharine Hayhoe discuss everything from climate security and coronavirus to the potential rise of authoritarianism.

Low-Yield Nukes Create a Dangerous Solution
Nicole Franiok
Low-yield nuclear weapons are a dangerous and unnecessary means of deterring Russian aggression. To better understand why, some of the main arguments supporting the deployment of this weapon are refuted.

Amid COVID-19, Oil Market Instability Puts Pressure on U.S. Shale
HD Scriba, III
To protect itself from such volatility, the U.S. must continue to invest in alternative energy sources, instead of trying to beat OPEC+ at their own game.

Mapping the Nexus between Human Trafficking and Terrorism in Libya
Maywadee Viriyapah
As a result of the coronavirus outbreak, the UN has announced it will suspend pivotal activities that protect the over 600,000 migrants from the violent and criminal activities that have run rampant in Libya for the past 9 years. Without the help of outside resources, Libyan migrants will be at higher risk to traffickers and terrorist organizations operating in the region.


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