What’s next on nonproliferation and international security, in Washington and around the globe.
— Feb. 3: Mark Fitzpatrick of the International Institute for Strategic Studies headlines a talk on “Assessing the Iranian Nuclear Deal” in London. “The mood is optimistic in Iran and in most other concerned countries — with two notable exceptions among Iran’s most skeptical antagonists,” according to a description of the upcoming Arundel House discussion.
— Feb. 4: If Iran is your focus but you’re in D.C., a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the nuclear negotiations might be of interest. Testimony is expected from Wendy Sherman, undersecretary of State for political affairs; David Cohen, undersecretary of Treasury for terrorism and financing; David Albright of the Institute for Science and International Security; and Mark Dubowitz of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. This is also to be live-streamed on the committee website.
— Feb. 4: Also in Washington, head over to the Capitol Visitor Center for a House Intelligence Committee hearing on worldwide threats. Though witnesses had not yet been announced at press time, those who can’t make it over to the session can view it webcast on the panel’s website.
— Feb. 4: The Senate Foreign Relations Committee is expected to meet for a hearing on President Obama’s nomination of Robert Wood to represent the United States at the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva. It’s also to be webcast online.
— Feb. 5: This week’s winner for innovative event titling: “Understanding al Qaeda and its Affiliates: A Global Threat or JV Squad?” It’s based on a recent remark by President Obama about the level of threat posed by the loosely affiliated terrorist groups: “If a JV team puts on Lakers uniforms that doesn’t make them Kobe Bryant.” The Foundation for the Defense of Democracies discussion will feature issue experts Daveed Gartenstein-Ross, Bruce Hoffman, Thomas Joscelyn and Jonathan Schanzer.
— Feb. 5: The Vienna Center for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation is sponsoring a talk by Rose Gottemoeller, the U.S. acting undersecretary of State for arms control and international security. The event in the Austrian capital is titled, “Previewing the 2014 NPT PrepCom” — a reference to Preparatory Committee meeting to be held in New York as plans coalesce for a major 2015 Review Conference on implementation of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. Expect discussion of global calls to convene a gathering in Finland to discuss a proposed ban on weapons of mass destruction from the Middle East, an initiative that stems from the most recent five-year NPT Review Conference in 2010 but has yet to come to fruition.
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"The Senate approved the Republican-proposed budget Thursday night, a major step forward for the GOP effort to enact tax cuts. The budget, which now moves to the House, is projected to expand the deficit by $1.5 trillion over 10 years. Its passage will allow the GOP to use a procedural maneuver to pass tax legislation through the Senate with 50 or more votes, removing the need for support from Democratic senators."
"President Donald Trump overrode his own advisers when he promised to deliver an emergency declaration next week to combat the nation’s worsening opioid crisis ... Blindsided officials are now scrambling to develop such a plan, but it is unclear when it will be announced, how or if it will be done, and whether the administration has the permanent leadership to execute it, said two administration officials. 'They are not ready for this,' a public health advocate said of an emergency declaration after talking to Health and Human Services officials enlisted in the effort."
"The number of U.S. adults without health insurance is up nearly 3.5 million this year, as rising premiums and political turmoil over 'Obamacare' undermine coverage gains that drove the nation’s uninsured rate to a historic low. That finding is based on the latest installment of a major survey, released Friday. The Gallup-Sharecare Well-Being Index asks a random sample of 500 people each day whether they have health insurance."
The initial data Twitter gave to the Senate's Russia Probe was "a batch of tweets that the Kremlin’s English-language news network paid the company to promote, The Daily Beast has learned. That’s just a sliver of what investigators believe to be Russia’s propaganda campaign on the social network—which helps explain the dissatisfaction that followed those first disclosures."
"Senate Democrats on Thursday failed in their first attempt to save the state and local tax deduction, which helps many residents of California and other high-cost states reduce their federal income tax bills. The Republican-controlled Senate voted 52-47 to reject an amendment that would have prevented the Senate from considering any bill that repeals or limits the deduction as part of a planned tax overhaul."