Change of venue. Contributor Jillian Hamilton explains, “If things are feeling stale for you, it could be a great time to immerse yourself in another country, make new friends, and change up what your everyday life looks like. Traveling abroad can help you see things in a new and different light, which can be a real boon to your work.”

STEM gap. Contributor Jennifer Cary advises, “Consider pursuing a position in the field of science, technology, engineering or math. With an increasing demand for qualified professionals and a critical hiring gap on the horizon, it’s the perfect time to become a STEM professional. . . . pursuing a career in the STEM field is like signing up for the golden egg of employment. There are lots of well-paying jobs and companies are eager to hire prior service members. By taking advantage of training opportunities, higher education courses and scholarships, service members and veterans could be on the fast track to a STEM career in no time.”


ISIS-free zone. Christian Science Monitor’s Nicholas Blanford and Taylor Luck report, “The agreement between the United States and Turkey to establish some form of protected zone in northern Syria that is free of the extremist Islamic State heralds a potentially significant shift in Syria’s grueling civil war. While the details of how the countries will enforce the zone remain unclear, its implementation coincides with Syria’s acknowledgement that a long-heralded contraction of territory under its control is necessary.”

Egypt’s youth: ISIS bound. AP’s Brian Rohan reports, “At a time when militants are carrying out more sophisticated attacks in Egypt, the apparent spread of radicalism among youths in Cairo is a worrying sign for Egyptian authorities, who say they are working to quell violence. In recent weeks, militants who declared themselves to be the Sinai branch of the Iraq- and Syria-based Islamic State group tried to take over a Sinai town in an elaborate attack on security forces, and Egypt’s top prosecutor was killed by a bomb in the first assassination of a senior official here in a quarter-century. Attacks are frequent in Cairo and elsewhere, often killing policemen or soldiers, and hitting businesses and some tourist sites.”

Afghani props. Afghan Zariza reports, “Afghanistan and the United States signed a new development partnership agreement on Monday, delivering on the commitment made during President Ashraf Ghani’s visit to Washington in March. The agreement was signed by Eklil Ahmad Hakimi, the Minister of Finance; Michael McKinley, the U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan and William Hammink, USAID Mission Director. Under the agreement, the U.S. government will provide up to 800 million USD to Afghanistan in budget assistance to maintain and build on the development gains made over the last 13 years.”


New-age espionage. The Economist reports, “Collecting electronic information is generally getting easier. It is hard to lead a completely non-digital life, and any activity using computers and networks creates openings for the watchers. An e-mail is as easy to read as a postcard for anyone with modest technical skills. With a few tweaks, mobile phones become tracking beacons and bugging devices. Most people readily trade private information for convenience. And hacking into computers can yield vast amounts of intelligence. A lot of spying, however, has become trickier.”

Space drones. Government Executive contributor Mike Murphy reports, “NASA is building robots to explore other planets, and drone technology for Earth. The logical next step: robot drones in space. New research out of NASA’s Kennedy Space Center shows that the agency is working on ways to explore other planets and asteroids using robots that can fly to places its rovers can’t reach.”


Intra-party tension. “A top Senate Republican said intra-party tension is higher than ever in Congress, where conservatives battling with the GOP leadership has public and private infighting. ‘It’s probably more tension than I’ve seen in a long time,’ Senate Banking Committee Chairman Richard Shelby, R-Ala., said . . . . Lawmakers on the Republican side have been battling with each other in both chambers.”

Shut it down! “Republican senators are tiptoeing around talk of a government shutdown in October after a failed vote Monday on defunding Planned Parenthood. . . . Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has pledged that there will be no shutdowns on his watch, but Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) — a leading force behind the effort to defund ObamaCare in 2013 — is stirring the pot with talk of action.”

Related News

Ed Ledford enjoys the most challenging, complex, and high stakes communications requirements. His portfolio includes everything from policy and strategy to poetry. A native of Asheville, N.C., and retired Army Aviator, Ed’s currently writing speeches in D.C. and working other writing projects from his office in Rockville, MD. He loves baseball and enjoys hiking, camping, and exploring anything. Follow Ed on Twitter @ECLedford.