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Comm(Unity) Weekly: Sixth Edition

APRIL 27, 2020

In this edition of Comm(Unity), we discuss how the pandemic may be charting new trajectories for two of the world’s largest economies. We also share how U.S. leadership could impact climate change, an incredible Afghan girls robotics team creating ventilators out of car parts, and an easy baked churro recipe. And stay tuned — some big CTWAC news is coming!

Weekly Episode

On our seventh episode — Dr. Trita Parsi, Executive VP of the Quincy Institute, talks with the Council about Iran’s influence in the Middle East, its tensions with the U.S. and what Tehran’s future might look like going forward. Moderated by CEO, Megan Clark Torrey. Stream Now.

Check out Dr. Parsi’s recent feature in USA Todaydiscussing Iran, North Korea and Russia’s emboldened acts amidst COVID-19.

Weekly Article Roundup

Follow along with the CTWAC staff on this week’s article roundup:

Natural disasters have costed trillions of dollars in the past decade, but how can U.S. leadership help avert further climate catastrophe?
Foreign Affairs explores a “foreign policy for the climate”

Richard Fontaine, recent CTWAC speaker, looks at how reading fiction can better help policymakers understand the human condition
Sometimes Sun Tzu can only get you so far

Trump has completely disrupted traditional liberal internationalism – so what does this mean for U.S. grand strategy?
Daniel W. Drezner, Ronald R. Krebs, and Randall Schweller for Foreign Affairs

For our democracies around the world, technology alliances might be necessary to compete effectively in all realms
Martijn Rasser, Center for New American Security, explains more

Lesotho, a small country landlocked in South Africa, has faced rising tensions surrounding its prime minister, Thomas Thabane
Public unrest continues to rise, as reported by Al-Jazeera

Weekly Entertainment


CTWAC VP Amanda Jolly says she “highly recommends” this book: a bit of escapism that is also human


Radio Alhara

Check out this new quarantine radio live from the West Bank, connecting Palestinians to the rest of the world during the pandemic


The Great British Baking Show

Watch ‘Great Power Competition’ take on a whole new meaning in this cutthroat baking show. Let them eat cake!



If you’re looking for a new happy hour game (or to train for the CIA) codenames is now online!


Baked Churro Bites

Think your favorite Spanish dessert is too hard to make at home? Think again! These easy bite-sized churros are baked in the oven for an even easier clean-up!

Global Good News

An Afghan girls’ robotics team designed a ventilator out of car parts

As of April 2, Afghanistan’s two designated COVID hospitals had 12 ventilators between them.So this innovative robotics team, the Afghan Dreamers, designed an inexpensive ventilator out of automobile parts! Read More.

Weekly Cartoon

Check in next week for another CTWAC exclusive cartoon:

Courtesy of Caroline Schaefer

It’s been a big week of planning here at the Council (more info on that soon!). With so many global issues impacting our lives in new and profound ways, we want to bring you the conversations, experts, and engagement opportunities that help you navigate these new waters. If there is a topic that you want to explore, let us know. We’ll make sure your voice is part of the conversation. We can’t wait to share more announcements soon. Until then – from the whole team – thank you for all your support and engagement. Stay safe and healthy!

Amanda Jolly
VP of Programs + Communications

Image Credits:
[1] Dr. Trita Parsi: Source unknown; [2] Dr. Derek Scissors: American Enterprise Institute;
[3] Forest Fire: Matt Howard for Unsplash; [4] Cover art collage: Radio AlHara Facebook page; [5] Churro bites: Tasty; [6] The Afghan Dreamers: A Mighty Girl website; [7] Cartoon: Caroline Schaefer; [8] Amanda Headshot: Caroline Schaefer

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