Today's Headlines and Commentary

Ritika Singh, Yishai Schwartz
Tuesday, April 8, 2014, 12:10 PM

Today is the one-month anniversary of the day MH-370 went missing. Reports surfaced 

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Today is the one-month anniversary of the day MH-370 went missing. Reports surfaced over the weekend that Chinese, then Australian ships, picked up underwater signals that could be from the flight's black box recorders. Here is an inside look at three members of Australia's antisubmarine force who have been searching for the missing plane.

Greg Jaffe of the Washington Post describes the soldiers and their families at Fort Hood, TX, through the eyes and experiences of Lt. Gen. Mark A. Milley. At a news conference, officials at Fort Hood also gave a detailed account of last week's horrific shooting.

The Supreme Court denied cert in Klayman. Josh Gerstein of Politico has the story.

Congratulations! Edward Snowden has been awarded the Ridenhour Prize for Truth-Telling, reports The Hill.

Self-directing Navy helicopters? The Wall Street Journal reports on a new drone system unveiled Saturday that will allow transport helicopters to choose their own routes, pick landing sites and avoid unexpected obstacles.

Speaking of drones, Mark Mazzetti of the New York Times tells us that the CIA is having a hard time giving up its addiction to the targeted killing program.

Talks on Iran’s nuclear program resumed in Vienna yesterday. Reuters reports that all parties claim to want to begin drafting a comprehensive agreement in May, but that the sides are still far apart on key issues. And lest readers think that the current round of sanctions are going unenforced, CNN reports on four men arrested in Spain for attempting to export industrial equipment to Iran.

Here's some reading for the negotiators: Robert Einhorn of the Brookings Institution released an important paper entitled “Preventing a Nuclear-Armed Iran: Requirements for a Comprehensive Nuclear Agreement." It outlines “the diplomatic history and context, and details the components of a comprehensive agreement that fulfill the security requirements of the U.S. and its allies.”

Meanwhile, the Senate has unanimously passed legislation seeking to bar Iran's newly named UN Ambassador from entering the country. The ambassador,  Hamid Aboutalebi, is said to have been involved in the hostage-taking at the United States Embassy in Tehran in 1979. The Associated Press has the story.

After a tense week of mutual recrimination, Israeli and Palestinian negotiators met with an American mediator yesterday.  But the Journal reports that most experts are advocating for lower expectations. In the Times, Jodi Rudoren takes a closer look at Marwan Barghouti, perhaps the Palestinians' most popular leader and a man who sits in Israeli prison convicted of murder.

Ukraine continues to unravel: Donetsk is the latest of several Eastern Ukrainian cities to voice its love for Mother Russia. In Kharkiv, however, the central provisional government has been able to exert some semblance of control, successfully retaking an protestor-occupied government building without firing a shot.

In a grim reminder of the ongoing Syrian civil war, a Dutch Jesuit priest was shot dead inside his monastery yesterday.

A US contractor, Alan Gross, who has been imprisoned in Cuba for more than four years has begun a hunger strike, protesting his treatment and the US government's inaction on his behalf. The Post has the story.

Bill Roggio of the Long War Journal informs us that an ex-Guantanamo Bay detainee was killed while leading Sham al Islam, a jihadist group fighting against Syrian government forces.

Current Guantanamo Bay detainee Shaker Aamer is also making headlines; his lawyers have filed a motion seeking his release on grounds of ill-health. Charlie Savage of the Times has more.

Egyptian authorities have arrested Tharwat Salah Shehata, a top aide to Al Qaeda head Ayman al-Zawahri. He was found in the city of Sharqiya and is being interrogated, reports the Associated Press. The Pakistani government said it would release at least thirteen Taliban prisoners in an effort to keep peace talks afloat. Make sure to add the Pakistani Taliban's new website to your RSS feed so you can keep up with the latest.

The RAND Corporation has released the following report: “Improving Interagency Information Sharing Using Technology Demonstrations: The Legal Basis for Using New Sensor Technologies for Counterdrug Operations Along the U.S. Border.” The paper reviews U.S. law and DoD policy on counterdrug operations, and makes recommendations to update current policy.

Gregory C. Wilshusen, Director of Information Security Issues at the Government Accountability Office, testified before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security on how federal agencies should guard against data breaches and better protect PII (personally identifiable information).

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Ritika Singh was a project coordinator at the Brookings Institution where she focused on national security law and policy. She graduated with majors in International Affairs and Government from Skidmore College in 2011, and wrote her thesis on Russia’s energy agenda in Europe and its strategic implications for America.
Yishai Schwartz is a third-year student at Yale Law School. Previously, he was an associate editor at Lawfare and a reporter-researcher for The New Republic. He holds a BA from Yale in philosophy and religious studies.

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