Jul 5, 2017

U.S. prepared to take action against North Korea

Bebeto Matthews / AP

The tensions between North Korea and the U.S. are rising, leading to a reconfiguration of how the U.S. will respond to their continued threats.

  • During the U.N. Security Council's emergency meeting on North Korea today, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley said "actions are quickly closing off the possibility of a diplomatic solution."
  • The U.S. is ready to fight. The top American military commander in South Korea, General Vincent Brooks, echoed Haley's remarks in a statement today. "Self restraint, which is a choice, is all that separates armistice and war. We are able to change our choice when so ordered.…It would be a grave mistake for anyone to believe anything to the contrary."
  • Why now: North Korea confirmed it successfully launched an ICBM and that one of the two missiles it used was previously unknown to the U.S. — both events suggest its nuclear capabilities are more advanced than the U.S. thought.

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Bernie Sanders is trying to rebrand socialism in the U.S., but he'll have to overcome common fears about what the word means — fears the Trump campaign is watching and waiting to exploit.

Why it matters: Sanders may face a major challenge in convincing Americans in their 40s or older that there's a meaningful difference between what he supports, described as democratic socialism, and the authoritarian socialism that we've seen in regimes like Venezuela.

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In 1945, engineer and science administrator Vannevar Bush laid out a framework for support of science in the U.S. that drove prosperity and American dominance. That model isn't enough anymore, experts said at an event this week in Washington, D.C.

The big picture: With China threatening to overtake the U.S. in R&D spending even as research becomes more international, science must manage the tension between cooperation and competition.

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U.S. and Taliban sign peace deal

US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad (L) and Taliban co-founder Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar (R) sign a peace agreement during a ceremony in Qatar. Photo: Giuseppe Cacace/AFP via Getty Images

The United States signed a peace deal with the Taliban in Doha, Qatar on Saturday after over a year of off-and-on negotiations, The New York Times reports.

Why it matters: The signing of the deal officially begins the process to end the United States' longest war, which has spanned nearly two decades. The agreement sets a timetable to pull the remaining 13,000 American troops out of Afghanistan, per the Times, but is contingent on the Taliban's completion of commitments, including breaking ties with international terrorist groups, such as al Qaeda.