World News Brief, Wednesday December 16

US and China square off at Copenhagen; Clinton lays out Obama's human rights agenda; Burmese opium growth funds arms sales; bombs in Mosul and Baghdad; and more

Top of the Agenda: Tensions Grow at Copenhagen

UN climate talks have resumed (BBC) after developing countries won concessions from the developed world to focus on long-term financing for poor countries. Meanwhile, China said it would not accept Western money for these purposes, a politically sensitive issue for U.S. legislators who refuse to allow domestic carbon-cutting measures to include paying China, the United States' biggest economic rival. Tensions between China and the United States are growing (GlobalTimes), as China has rejected U.S. demands that its emissions cuts be verified internationally. China says the United States and other rich countries have a historical responsibility to cut emissions and that a country's development level should be a factor in determining its emissions cuts. So far, it has sided with developing countries that are demanding financial resources from the developed world.

The slow progress of the climate talks could prove problematic (NYT) as the heads of government begin arriving later this week . There are typically not as many technical and financial issues and grievances left unsettled when national leaders sit down to negotiate.


In the Guardian, George Monbiot says the Copenhagen climate summit reveals that the world is no longer split between conservatives and liberals but instead between "expanders and restrainers."

In the Wall Street Journal, Bjorn Lomborg says a smarter approach to global warming is to invest in energy research and development rather than mandated emissions cuts.


A CFR Backgrounder examines Copenhagen's many agendas.


PACIFIC RIM: Japan's U.S. Air Base

The Japanese government delayed a decision (Xinhua) on where to relocate the U.S. air base in Futenma until next year, as the United States stepped up its demands to have the issue resolved.

On, Sheila Smith discusses the need for a broader approach by the United States and Japan to provide new options on relocating the U.S. Marines.

Burma: Opium production in Burma increased by 11 percent (GlobalTimes) this year, fueling arms sales to Burmese rebels, according to a report by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime.



Coordinated bombs hit Baghdad.
Clinton outlines human rights agenda.

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