National Security Brief: May 4, 2012

— China said on Friday that blind dissident Chen Guangcheng, who is currently being kept in a Beijing hospital, could apply to study abroad, suggesting a possible resolution to the diplomatic crisis that has tested relations between Beijing and Washington.

— A senior Russian general this week threatened pre-emptive attacks on missile defense sites in Poland at other locations in Eastern Europe.

— The White House condemned the violent crackdown on a Syrian student protest yesterday and said a new international approach may be needed if a U.N. and Arab League-backed pace plan fails.

— Iran said on Friday it will never suspend its uranium enrichment program and sees no reason to close the Fordow underground site nuclear site.

— USA Today reports: Since 2006, about 140 European lives have been saved because organs — hearts, lungs, livers, kidneys and pancreases — were harvested from 36 U.S. servicemembers determined to be brain dead from wounds suffered in Iraq or Afghanistan.

— The Department of Veterans Affairs is studying the use of transcendental meditation to treat post-traumatic stress for returning veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan.

— As France’s Marine Le Pen enjoys her success from the first round of voting in the French presidential elections, anti-immigrant, nationalist, and, anti-Muslim far-right political political parties are enjoying new popularity in Greece, the Netherlands, Hungary, Austria and Denmark.

— Two Palestinian hunger-striking prisoners appeared before Israel’s Supreme Court on Thursday to plead for their release from what is known as “administrative detention” — incarceration without formal charges — giving new public attention to the 1,500 Palestinian prisoners who are going without food to protest Israeli prison conditions.