Tag Archives: Climate Change

Poor Nations Stage Walk-out of Climate Talks

Complaining that developed countries aren’t doing enough to cut their own emissions, delegates from poor nations walked out on talks at the climate change summit in Copenhagen today, AFP. At issue is whether the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, which required wealthy nations to cut their emissions but was not signed by the United States, will be continued or ignored.

More than 100,000 people protested in the streets of Copenhagen over the weekend as the talks entered their second week, New York Times.

The 22nd anniversary of the political/militant group Hamas is being celebrated in Gaza City today with massive rallies, Al Jazeera. Who are Hamas?, BBC News.

Gunmen in the Philippines releases 47 hostages after securing promises from the government that they would not be arrested for the hostage-taking or for previous crimes, Al Jazeera.

Britain’s former director of public prosecutions, Ken Macdonald, issued a scathing condemnation of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair for his role in convincing the British people to accept joining the United States to invade Iraq in 2003, CNN. Macdonald’s editorial, Times Online.

Democrat Annise Parker, a Houston city controller who is also openly gay, defeated Republican Gene Locke in a run-off election to be mayor of Houston, Houston Chronicle.  Analysis of the race, including how Parker’s sexual orientation was not much of an idea, 538.

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U.S. Quietly Remembers Pearl Harbor Attack Today

Countries at the climate conference in Copenhagen welcomed the U.S.’s long-awaited official proclamation concerning the danger of greenhouse gas emissions. This could possibly mean that the Environmental Protection Agency will be able to cut emissions without needing the approval of Congress, which has blocked the measure before, BBC News.

A deadly bomb blast at a middle school in Baghdad, Iraq has killed at least eight people, the majority of which were children. The attack happened in a Shia neighborhood in Sadr City. At least 40 others were wounded, BBC News.

Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic is unveiling the “SpaceShipTwo” in the Mojave Desert tonight, a craft that already has 300 people on the waitlist. The craft reaches an altitude of 62 miles and gives passengers a view of the Earth’s curvature, where they can even float in the craft for a few minutes, Wired News.

Today, December 7th, is the 68th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. The Washington Post has a photo gallery here.

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Suicide Bomber in Somalia Strikes University Graduation

15 people, including 3 cabinet ministers and 3 journalists, are dead after a suicide bomber struck a university graduation ceremony in Mogadishu, the capital city of Somalia. The suicide bomber was dressed as woman. No one has yet claimed responsibility for the bombing, but the militant Islamic group al-Shabab is suspected. Islamic militants control much of central and southern Somalia. The capital is protected by African Union peacekeepers who have nearly daily skirmishes with militants, Associated Press.

India’s Minister of State for the Environment has announced that the country will not sign any legally-binding emission reduction agreements at the upcoming climate change summit in Copenhagen, Times of India.  Residents of Shishmaref, Alaska fear climate change could destroy their town, CNN.

Israeli settlers protest a 10-month ban on new settlement construction. East Jerusalem is not included in the ban. Settlements are illegal under international law, but continue to be built by Israelis in disputed lands as a way of bolstering their claims on the land, CNN. The story of a Palestinian farmer whose grove of olive trees has been vandalized by nearby Israeli settlements, BBC News.

The New York State Senate did not approve a bill that would have legalized same-sex marriage, New York Times.

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African Nations Take Stand on Greenhouse Gas Emissions

The total number of bodies found in the home of a Cleveland man has risen to at least 10. Anthony Sowell, a convicted rapist, was arrested this weekend for rape after the bodies were found in his home and was charged today with murder, Reuters.

Fifty-five African nations have taken a stand during UN climate talks by declining to go forth with discussion unless the wealthiest nations agree to cut their greenhouse gas emissions. The U.S. itself has pledged before to cut their emissions by 4% on 1990 levels, but the developing countries want a 40% cut from the developed nations. If the Africans walk out, next month’s talks in Copenhagen will be rendered useless, Guardian UK.

Three missing North Dakota softball players have been found dead. The Dickinson State students had been missing since Sunday, and today their vehicle was found in a pond. Foul play is not suspected, ABC News.

The Czech Republic has signed the EU’s Lisbon Treaty, which will create a European Council president and change the way member states vote. With the Czech vote, the treaty is expected to be ratified in a few weeks, BBC News.

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Guatemalans Call For President to Step Down

Crowds in Guatemala are gathering to call for their president to step down after the death of a lawyer was tied to the head of state. Rodrigo Rosenberg was killed Sunday while riding his bike, one day after he sent a video and letter to Guatemala media outlets accusing President Colom in case of his death. Rosenberg was the lawyer of a businessman who was killed last year, Sky News.

The Coral Triangle in southeast Asian waters is likely to vanish by the end of the century if humans don’t change their patterns, a new report is suggesting. The coral reefs and diverse wildlife are endangered because of global warming, as are humans as the area supports over 100 million people. The report says combating against climate change, overpopulation, and over-fishing can help save the area, CNN.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced today that the CIA and Bush administration misled her about the use of waterboarding on detainees. Speaker Pelosi told reporters that she was explicitly told at a 2002 briefing that waterboarding was not being used. Pelosi, and other leading Democrats, are calling for a “truth commission” to investigate the Bush administration’s actions regarding the War on Terror, USA Today.

Roxana Saberi was released from prison on Monday and has finally left Tehran. The Iranian-American journalist was jailed in Iran and senentenced to eight years for “spying.” Fortunately, international response caused an appeals court to reconsider her case and found her not guilty, NPR.

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Japan Mobilizes Missile Defense Shields

Japan has mobilized its missile defense capabilities in response to satellite images showing the continuation of launch preparations by North Korea. North Korea claims it plans to launch a rocket carrying a communications satellite into space, but intelligence experts believe North Korea will instead test a ballistic missile. If the missile is shot down by Japan’s Self-Defense Force, North Korea may argue it is an act of war by Japan, Asia Times.

The International Olympic Committee announced that the Olympic torch will no longer be relayed around the world prior to the Olympic Games. Protests of China’s human rights abuses plagued the relay in 2008. The ban officially begins for the 2014 games in Sochi, Russia but both the 2010 winter games in Vancouver and the 2012 summer games in London will feature home country-only relays, New York Times.

According to a publicly released report, Russia plans to create a permanent military force in the Arctic to patrol disputed lands and protect Russian interests in natural resources, including oil and natural gas. Global climate change is predicted to make new areas of the Arctic accessible over the next few decades. Disputes over control of the region are expected to arise amongst Russia, Canada, Norway, Denmark and the United States all of which have borders touching the Arctic, BBC  News.

An editorial in the British medical journal, The Lancet, condemns Pope Benedict XVI’s comments concerning condom use. In an interview with a French journalist while visiting Africa, the Pope said the problem of AIDS in Africa “cannot be overcome by the distribution of condoms: on the contrary, they increase it.” The Lancet editorial responded that the Pope’s statement is “outrageous and wildly inaccurate,” United Press International. The Lancet (subscription required).

Next week: The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), a military alliance of  democratic states in North America and Europe, meets on April 3rd and 4th in Baden-Baden and Kehl, Germany, and in Strasbourg, France, NATO homepage.

London hosts world summit of the Group of 20 countries (G20) beginning on April 2. The summit will be held in London’s financial district and is expected to draw protests. The G20 is made up of the finance ministers and central bank governors of 19 countries: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States of America, and also the European Union who is represented by the rotating Council presidency and the European Central Bank, G20 homepage.

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