US climate legislation delayed by Senate focus on immigration (+ analysis); Did a North Korean torpedo sink South Korean boat?; Afghan crowd turns on NATO fuel trucks; pressure comes on Greek bailout plan; and more
Top of the Agenda: Senate Debates Energy vs. Immigration Reform
Climate legislation that was set to be unveiled today in the US Senate has been postponed (WashPost) for an indeterminate amount of time while key senators try to sort out a dispute involving a separate initiative on immigration reform. Authors of the Senate's climate change bill Lindsey Graham (R-SC), John Kerry (D-MA), and Joseph Lieberman (I-CT) have been working to reconcile differences between the business and environmental communities for months. But Graham expressed strong concerns during the weekend that the bill was losing steam after Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) indicated immigration might move ahead of climate change on the Senate calendar. The bill's authors have been pushing for support among businesses, hoping those businesses would then pressure lawmakers to support the bill. Environmentalists criticized this strategy, which involved giving energy companies advantages that took funding from environmental protections.
Graham said Reid is putting personal gain ahead of the public good (Politico), since moving ahead on immigration reform would benefit him in midterm elections. But Reid countered that he is "committed to trying to enact comprehensive clean-energy legislation this session."
On theHill.com, Ian Swanson says jumping into immigration reform could cut both ways for Democrats, since Democratic lawmakers representing more conservative districts or states will want to avoid voting on such a divisive issue ahead of midterm elections.
Senator John McCain (R-AZ) criticized President Barack Obama's condemnation of Arizona legislators for passing a tough law (NYT) on illegal immigration. McCain said Obama should put troops on the border (AzCentral) if he doesn't like the law.
PACIFIC RIM: South-North Korea Tensions Rise
South Korean Defense Minister Kim Tae-young said a torpedo likely exploded (WSJ) under the South Korean patrol boat that sank a month ago near the North Korean border, escalating tensions between the two countries.
Taiwan-China: China and Taiwan's ruling party continued negotiating (ChinaDaily) an economic cooperation framework agreement aimed at normalizing China-Taiwan economic ties. Taiwan's largest opposition party highlighted the risks involved in a political debate.
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