Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin is calling for drastic reductions in planned U.S. missile defense as U.S. and Russian officials spend the last week of the year negotiating a new nuclear disarmament treaty in Geneva, Switzerland. The most recent agreement, the 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START I), expired on December 5, but both countries have agreed to continue observing it until a new accord is settled. They are also bound by the 2002 Moscow treaty which limits nuclear warheads.
Tony Blair, global-warming activist and former British prime minister, is under fire from the media for allegedly trying to cash in on climate change. His company, Windrush Ventures, Ltd., registered a new Internet name of "Low Carbon Capital Fund" just weeks before the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen. David Derbyshire with the Daily Mail reports that some view this as Blair's way of preparing to make money off green technology. Derbyshire questioned Blair's office, and a spokesman responded, "From time to time, we register names in an area we may be interested in."
Parties on both sides of the global-warming debate are calling the UN Climate Change Conference at Copenhagen a failure. Instead of producing a legally binding treaty to curb greenhouse gas emissions, a majority of participating nations merely agreed to "take note" of the Copenhagen Accord, a non-binding agreement to commit to significant emission reductions by next year and to fund environmentally "vulnerable" countries.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is promising delegates to the UN Climate Change Conference billions in foreign aid to developing countries. She's also promising commitment to forming an international authority with regulatory powers over energy and the environment.
Among the demonstrations accompanying the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen was the Saturday, December 12 "Global Day of Action" at which protestors from 108 countries marched four miles through the city's streets to demand "climate justice." Brent Baker with the Media Research Center pointed out in his BiasAlert article, "Network journalists who were quick to see racists, haters and extremists amongst the 'tea party' protesters were oblivious... to communists" participating in the march.
The mayors of several Italian cities are rebelling against a European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruling that bans the crucifix from public classrooms. The ECHR found that the display of crucifixes in state schools is a "violation of the right to education taken jointly with the freedom of thought, conscience and religion."
Children in Britain will be forced to attend at least one year of sex-education classes before their 16th birthday, according to new rules enacted in the United Kingdom. The BBC reports that parents cannot opt out children 15 or older, even if their children attend parochial or religious schools.
Between 500 and 1,000 protesters gathered last weekend at Mont-Saint-Michel in France to demonstrate against plans to build a wind farm along the Normandy coast. They say it would be a useless eyesore disfiguring the bay area.
On Saturday, September 17, our country celebrates its 224th birthday. Constitution Day commemorates the drafting of the U.S. Constitution and the 39 statesmen who signed it that day in 1787. This year, since the anniversary falls on a Saturday, the holiday is observed on Friday, September 16.
A federal judge in California is preparing to rule whether a ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional. Testimony began January 11 in San Francisco and could last for weeks in a case expected to go all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.