News + Media

 Copies of President Trump’s FY2021 budget are shown after being delivered to the House Budget Committee on February 10, 2020, in Washington, DC. Mark Wilson/Getty Images

In the News

February 10, 2020

The 2 most controversial national security items in Trump’s new budget

Alex WardVox

Vipin Narang quoted: Experts are split on whether a nuclear modernization program, which gained steam in the Obama years, is a good idea. “If you’re going to have the force, make sure it’s safe, secure, and reliable,” says Vipin Narang, a nuclear expert at MIT. “Some, not all, of the force and the delivery platforms are decades old.” He added that “it just can’t sit and rot.”

Analysis + Opinion

February 7, 2020

Iraqi protesters will likely push forward despite violence

Marsin AlshamaryThe World | PRI

Despite violence, Iraqi protesters have made political gains, the most significant of which is the recognition by all parties that legitimacy can only come from the people.

Public service announcements telling people to wear protective face masks are placed in a subway as the coronavirus continues to threaten Beijing on Thursday. Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI |

In the News

February 6, 2020

China's 'grand gestures,' propaganda aim to calm fears about coronavirus

Elizabeth ShimUnited Press International (UPI)

Grad student Kacie Miura quoted: In building the new hospitals, the Chinese government could have had other objectives aside from treating sick patients. Authorities allow the construction to be viewed live online, creating a spectacle and an image of a government "in control of the situation and capable of accomplishing monumental tasks," Miura said.

Nuclear sub's torpedo room

In the News

February 4, 2020

US military deploys new type of nuclear weapon seen as key to countering Russia

Ryan Browne, Barbara Starr and Zachary CohenCNN

Vipin Narang quoted: The real difference is the ability to threaten "and penetrate targets deep in adversary territory that current aircraft deliverable low yield nuclear weapons cannot reach," according to Vipin Narang, an associate professor of political science at MIT.

Harvard University professor Charles Lieber is surrounded by reporters as he leaves the Moakley Federal Courthouse in Boston Thursday. (Charles Krupa/AP)

In the News

February 3, 2020

Beyond Harvard prof's arrest, increased scrutiny over research conflicts sparks 'a whole lot of anxiety'

Carrie JungWBUR

Joel Brenner quoted: "The FBI and other counterintelligence officials have been warning of these problems for at least 20 years now," he said. "The academic community has been very skeptical."

A swarm of fireflies on Shikoku, in southern Japan.Credit...Kei Nomiyama/Barcroft Media, via Getty Images

Analysis + Opinion

February 3, 2020

Fireflies have a mating problem: The lights are always on

Shola LawalThe New York Times

These are tough times for fireflies. Like a lot of other insects, they face increasing threats from habitat loss, pesticides and pollution. But they also have a problem that’s unique to luminous bugs: It’s getting harder for them to reproduce because light pollution is outshining their mating signals.

In a photo released by China’s Xinhua News Agency, a medical staff member wearing a protective suit works in the department of infectious diseases at Wuhan Union Hospital on Jan. 28. (Xiao Yijiu/Xinhua/AP)

In the News

January 29, 2020

Experts debunk fringe theory linking China’s coronavirus to weapons research

Adam Taylor The Washington Post

Vipin Narang quoted: Vipin Narang, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, wrote in a message on Twitter that a good bioweapon “in theory has high lethality but low, not [high], communicability” and that spreading such ideas would be “incredibly irresponsible.”

The Thwaites glacier, above, helps to keep the much larger West Antarctic Ice Shelf stable.Credit...NASA/OIB/Jeremy Harbeck

Analysis + Opinion

January 29, 2020

Temperatures at a Florida-size glacier in Antarctica alarm scientists

Shola LawalNew York Times

Scientists in Antarctica have recorded, for the first time, unusually warm water beneath a glacier the size of Florida that is already melting and contributing to a rise in sea levels.

Trump shaking hands with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Photo courtesy of The White House.

Analysis + Opinion

January 28, 2020

Trump’s peace plan is a paradigm shift

Peter KrausePolitical Violence At A Glance

What’s significant about the deal is that it represents a paradigm shift in US policy, at least under Trump, from one model of conflict resolution to another. This shift is evident in other areas of foreign policy, too, including Trump’s pulloute from the Iran nuclear deal... 

Willoughby image for book publication

Analysis + Opinion

January 26, 2020

Samuels summarizes "Special Duty" in Ambassador Brief

Richard SamuelsAmbassador's Brief

Since Japan‘s intelligence community (IC) had never been the subject of serious study, and since Japanese strategists have begun to focus their attention on intelligence reform, Richard Samuels took the opportunity to produce his new book, Special Duty. He summarizes the key findings in a recent Ambassador's Brief.