The Obama administration is pushing for a 40-year extension to its nuclear trade agreement with the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency.
A proposal submitted to Congress last week would renew for another 40 years a decades-old accord that lets Washington supply nonmilitary nuclear assets to the International Atomic Energy Agency and its member states. The existing agreement initially was implemented in 1959 and the new extension would allow it to remain in force a total of 95 years.
The White House said the pact covers transfers of nuclear-material samples in support of IAEA safeguards inspections, which seek to prevent the spread of nuclear-arms capabilities. It also permits the provision of atomic-reactor components in international deals facilitated by the Vienna-based organization.
“The agreement exemplifies the U.S. government’s strong support for IAEA peaceful uses activities, and the United States looks forward to expanding these cooperative efforts in the years to come,” the State Department said.
Last week’s submission of the renewal language to Capitol Hill kicked off a 90-day period during which Congress could potentially object to the proposal. The extension amendment came up only in passing during a Thursday Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing devoted mainly to U.S. nuclear trade and nonproliferation policy, governed by Section 123 of the 1954 U.S. Atomic Energy Act.
The Obama administration has not released the text of the proposed amendment, or the unclassified section of an accompanying Nuclear Proliferation Assessment Statement submitted to U.S. lawmakers.
In a November statement, Washington’s envoy to the U.N. nuclear watchdog said the United States has supplied atomic materials or technology to 28 countries since the accord took effect in 1959.
“This proposed [renewal language] is extremely short and simple, and its negotiators took care not to disturb the mechanisms that have worked effectively for decades to enhance cooperation as directed by the agency’s statute,” added Ambassador Joseph MacManus, who signed the extension measure on Jan. 21 with IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano.
The renewal measure would update the cooperation deal to include the latest IAEA recommendations for physically securing nuclear materials and sites.
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Nikki Haley. Jeb Bush. Scott Walker. Lindsey Graham. John Kasich. The list is growing ever longer of Republicans who say they wouldn't even consider becoming Donald Trump's running mate. "The recoiling amounts to a rare rebuke for a front-runner: Politicians usually signal that they are not interested politely through back channels, or submit to the selection process, if only to burnish their national profiles."
"Donald Trump holds a 15-point lead over Ted Cruz in the potentially decisive May 3 presidential primary race in Indiana, according to results from a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist poll. Trump gets support from 49 percent of likely Republican primary voters — followed by Cruz at 34 percent and John Kasich at 13 percent. If that margin in Indiana holds on Tuesday, Trump would be on a glide path towards obtaining the 1,237 delegates he needs to win the Republican nomination on a first ballot at the GOP convention in July."
In a statement released on Sunday, President and Mrs. Obama revealed that their oldest daughter, Malia, will attend Harvard University in the fall of 2017 as a member of the Class of 2021. She will take a year off before beginning school.
Foreign Policy takes a look at the future of mining the estimated "100,000 near-Earth objects—including asteroids and comets—in the neighborhood of our planet. Some of these NEOs, as they’re called, are small. Others are substantial and potentially packed full of water and various important minerals, such as nickel, cobalt, and iron. One day, advocates believe, those objects will be tapped by variations on the equipment used in the coal mines of Kentucky or in the diamond mines of Africa. And for immense gain: According to industry experts, the contents of a single asteroid could be worth trillions of dollars." But the technology to get us there is only the first step. Experts say "a multinational body might emerge" to manage rights to NEOs, as well as a body of law, including an international court.
Not to be outdone by Jeffrey Goldberg's recent piece in The Atlantic about President Obama's foreign policy, the New York Times Magazine checks in with a longread on the president's economic legacy. In it, Obama is cognizant that the economic reality--73 straight months of growth--isn't matched by public perceptions. Some of that, he says, is due to a constant drumbeat from the right that "that denies any progress." But he also accepts some blame himself. “I mean, the truth of the matter is that if we had been able to more effectively communicate all the steps we had taken to the swing voter,” he said, “then we might have maintained a majority in the House or the Senate.”