Around Town …

  • A May 31, 2010 United Nations IAEA report may bolster case for advocates of a new round of Iran sanctions.  The findings state that Iran has enough fuel for two nuclear weapons.  The question for those of us who follow these issues in D.C. remains: will the Obama Administration focus on the UN track or work closer with House and Senate conferees to complete work on a new sanctions measure targeting Iran’s energy sector?
  • The French Connection, or not? France’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs denies that it has a military liaison office in Taiwan.  In early May 2010, Tapei won a $770 million judgment when an arbitration court order the payment in damages to Taiwan over a controversial arms deal gone bad.
  • Export controls, China, and the Lippo Group – a story that never seems to die.
  • A day of shopping for two Canadians did not go very well last month.  A recording has surfaced of an incident between two Canadians and U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials at the U.S.-Canada border.  The belligerent Canadian was quite defensive, yelled, and may have threatened a federal officer with physical violence.  The audio ends with the husband locked up in a holding cell.
  • The Export Law Blog reports that a leaked United Nations report accuses North Korea of shipping controlled nuclear technology to terrorist states.
  • CNN reports that Leon Panetta is “very happy” at the CIA and that finds the job of CIA Director “rewarding and challenging.”  CNN also reports that he has told the White House he has no interest in becoming the next DNI.  Rather than find a DNI replacement, the Obama Administration and Congress should seriously consider transferring ODNI authorities, budget, and staff back to the CIA Director.
  • The folks at SpacePolitics pens an item on a recent House Armed Services Committee report on NASA’s Constellation program.
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