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."
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.
Over four inches of snow fell in Copenhagen last night as temperatures dipped to below 25°F, not including wind chill. Officials with Denmark's Meteorological Institute said there is a high probability of a white Christmas in Denmark, which has occurred only seven times in the last 100 years. This is what is known as "The Gore Effect," a strange phenomenon involving extreme or unusual cold and blizzards that seems to follow Al Gore and his global-warming crusade.