Many analysts bemoan the failure of governments at December's UN Climate Change Conference to arrive at a legally binding agreement to rescue the world from alleged pending eco-disaster. But the UN's top climate official claims Copenhagen was, in many ways, a success.
It had been billed and hyped as the "Seal the Deal" summit, a conference that would produce a binding global agreement on greenhouse gases to replace the 1997 Kyoto Protocol. The United States had remained the only major nation that refused to ratify the treaty, and hopes were high in environmentalist circles that President Barack Obama would change that by bringing the United States on board the newer, tougher treaty expected to come out of Copenhagen.
Edward Conlon, in his book Blue Blood, provides an in-depth and colorful narrative of his career as a New York City cop. In it, he tells how, as a narcotics officer, he and his team "read" the street and the actions of the "perps" to decide where to set up shop for a successful day busting drug dealers: "In the narcotics trade, ... the body language of buyer and seller alike reads of outward focus, a taut awareness of opportunity and threat. There are distinctive addict walks, such as the prowler.... His pace is slow and his progress roundabout; he wanders, floating like a flake of ash above a fire.... Many players ... have a watchfulness, a containment, a false repose like a cat sunning itself on a windowsill, eyes half-closed but ready to pounce." Telltale signs meant everything; they indicated motive, culpability, level of involvement, level of malice, intelligence, desperation, patience, and depravity.
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.
A Lithuanian Seimas investigating committee has concluded that he Soviet-era holdover “Committee for State Security” spy agency had struck a deal with the CIA in 2002 to create secret “black site” prisons in Lithuania to interrogate terrorist suspects outside of U.S. legal restraints. But the parliamentary committee was unable to confirm that actual interrogations and torture had taken place. Upon accepting the conclusions of the Seimas (parliament) investigation, Lithuanian Prime Minister Andrius Kubilius said that the United States had manipulated Lithuanian officials with "essentially Soviet methods."