Archive for the ‘Group of Eight’ Category

McCain: A Candidate Who Embraces Opposites

October 11, 2008

At the presidential debate in Nashville last Tuesday, Senator John McCain made his case for fiscally conservative, smaller government, calling for an “across the board” spending freeze and denouncing what he described as Senator Barack Obama’s “government will do this and government will do that” approach to health care.

But Mr. McCain’s big proposal that night was to spend $300 billion in taxpayer money to buy bad mortgages from banks and refinance them, a plan conservatives quickly criticized as an expensive effort to nationalize the mortgage industry.

Republican presidential candidate, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., ... 

The juxtaposition of a hands-off approach to governing with an embrace of intervention — albeit intervention at a moment of national crisis — was hardly unusual for Mr. McCain. Throughout his run for the presidency, he has often proposed policies that appear to be incompatible with one another, if not contradictory.

His foreign policy, for example, calls for ostracizing Russia for its undemocratic ways by expelling it from the Group of Eight industrialized powers, a hard-line position that he took long before Russia’s war with Georgia this summer. But Mr. McCain also calls for fostering closer ties with Russia to cooperate with it on a new nuclear disarmament agreement.

Mr. McCain’s economic policy centers on extending President Bush’s deficit-swelling tax cuts and on cutting even more corporate taxes. But at the same time, Mr. McCain has vowed to balance the federal budget by the end of his term, a pledge he has reiterated even with the fiscal crisis threatening to throw the budget even deeper into the red.

His energy policy is built in part on curbing the use of fossil fuels to reduce global warming, and he was an early Republican supporter of the cap-and-trade approach. But as gas prices shot up he made a series of proposals aimed at making gasoline cheaper and more available, from his call for a gas-tax holiday last summer to his new support for drilling for oil offshore (but still not in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge).

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http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/12/us/politics
/12mccain.html?_r=1&hp&oref=slogin

Top polluters look to different emissions targets: Japan

March 16, 2008

MAKUHARI, Japan (AFP) – Twenty major greenhouse gas emitting nations agreed Sunday on “shared but differentiated responsibility” to fight global warming amid a gap between rich and poor states, host Japan said.
Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair (L) shakes hands with ... 
Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair (L) shakes hands with Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda pror to their talks at the prime minister’s office in Tokyo, on March 14. The world’s top 20 greenhouse gas emitters agreed Sunday to work together to draft a successor to the Kyoto Protocol but rich and developing nations remained divided on their roles.(AFP/Pool/Dai Kurokawa)

Envoys from the 20 countries, whose greenhouse gas emissions account for about 80 percent of the global total, wrapped up two days of talks hoping to jumpstart negotiations on a successor to the Kyoto Protocol.

“We reconfirmed the principle of common but differentiated responsibility in negotiating the next deal for 2013 and onward,” said Japan‘s environment minister Ichiro Kamoshita, the meeting’s co-chair.

“It was made clear that there are a variety of positions among developed countries, emerging countries and developing countries,” Kamoshita told a news conference after talks ended.

Developing countries have insisted that they not be held up to the same targets as wealthy nations in reducing greenhouse gas emissions blamed for global warming.

There are also disagreements among rich nations. The United States has shunned the Kyoto Protocol, whose obligations end in 2012, saying it is unfair by making no demands of developing nations.

Japan in July hosts the Group of Eight summit of rich nations which it hopes will make progress in the UN-backed goal of drafting Kyoto‘s successor by the end of next year.

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http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20080316/wl_afp/
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Obstacles ahead for missile defense

July 8, 2007

By Peter Grier
The Christian Science Monitor
July 9, 2007

Washington — You’d think deployment of US missile defenses in Europe was imminent, given the way Presidents George Bush and Vladimir Putin sparred over the subject at last week’s “Lobster Summit” in Kennebunkport, Maine.

Despite the goodwill generated by speedboat rides and swordfish dinners, Mr. Putin vehemently objected during the two-day meeting to US plans to push forward with antimissile sites in the Czech Republic and Poland.

In fact, US missile defense faces a long and winding European road – and Russian opposition is far from its only hurdle. The US still must strike basing deals with the Czech and Polish governments. And in Washington the Democratic-controlled Congress appears reluctant to fund the move, scrambling its near-term prospects.

“I can see money trickling to the system to keep it on life support,” says Wade Boese, director of research at the Arms Control Association. “I don’t think you’re going to see something that is full-bore ahead.”

At issue are a radar facility in the Czech Republic and a battery of 10 interceptor missiles in Poland that the Bush administration says are needed to guard against a developing missile threat from Iran.

Russian officials have long complained ….

Read the rest at:
http://www.csmonitor.com/2007/0709/p02s01-usfp.html

Russia’s Ivanov: Global Missile Defense System Could be Created by 2020

July 8, 2007

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PETROPAVLOVSK-KAMCHATSKY (Far East), July 8 (RIA Novosti) – A global missile defense system proposed by Russia could be created by 2020, a Russian first deputy prime minister said Sunday.

“We are proposing to create a single missile defense system for all participants with equal access to the system’s control,” Sergei Ivanov said in a televised interview with the Vesti Nedeli program on Rossiya television channel.

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Ivanov said the proposal applied both to the United States and European countries, including neutral states like Austria, Finland and Sweden.

According to Ivanov, the proposal involved efforts to create missile defense data exchange centers in Moscow and Brussels where the headquarters of NATO and the European Union are located.

Ivanov also mentioned the recent initiative by President Vladimir Putin that Russia and the United States could use the early warning facility in Gabala in Azerbaijan, if the U.S. gave up its plans to deploy elements of its European missile shield in Poland and the Czech Republic.

“In addition, Russia is ready in the future to offer its new radar being built in the Krasnodar Territory [in southern Russia] for a joint data system,” Ivanov said.

U.S. plans to place elements of its missile shield in Poland and the Czech Republic have become one of the main issues of contention in relations between Russia and the United States, bringing them recently to their lowest point since the Cold War.

In an initial response to the U.S. move, Moscow threatened to point Russian warheads at Europe and pull out of a conventional arms reduction treaty, the Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty (CFE), but seemingly softened its stance when Putin proposed at a Group of Eight leading industrialized nations summit in Germany to jointly use the Gabala radar in the former Soviet republic of Azerbaijan.

The Gabala radar, located near the town of Minchegaur, 120 kilometers (75 miles) from the capital Baku, was leased to Russia for 10 years in 2002.

The radar has been operational since early 1985. With a range of 6,000 kilometers (3,700 miles), it is the most powerful in the region and can detect any missile launches in Asia, the Middle East and parts of Africa.

During his informal talks with George W. Bush Monday, the Russian president proposed that the United States jointly use a radar being built in southern Russia, in addition to the missile early warning facility in Gabala.

Provided to Peace and Freedom by RIA Novosti.