Live Video: General Petraeus Confirmation Hearing

The Senate confirmation hearing for Gen Petraeus is under way on Capitol Hill.

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LA Times: G-20 climate pact erases word ‘voluntary’ from efforts to cut oil-firm subsidies

In a last-minute turn in global climate talks, international negotiators agreed over the weekend to adopt more ambitious plans than expected to trim government subsidies to oil companies worldwide, part of a broader effort to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions.

Initial plans called for each of the 20 industrialized and emerging nations attending G-20 to take “voluntary” measures to cut production and consumption incentives. But privately under pressure from the Obama administration, the group now is preparing to sign an agreement that omits the word “voluntary.”

In any version, a summit communique has little real force of its own and is effective only according to how strictly nations decide to abide by its tenets.

Although not binding, the wording is significant to the parties, both as a reflection of the commitment of the world leaders and for its power to shape future conversations.

READ THIS STORY AT LATIMES.COM

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McClatchy: Feds won’t charge Blackwater in Sudan sanctions case

Photo: jamesdale10
Photo: jamesdale10
The security contractor Blackwater Worldwide tried for two years to secure lucrative defense business in Southern Sudan while the country was under U.S. economic sanctions. The effort to drum up new business in East Africa by Blackwater owner Erik Prince became a major element in a continuing four-year federal investigation into allegations of sanctions violations, illegal exports and bribery.

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Guardian: India fury over US ‘double standards’ on BP and Bhopal

Two newspapers in India ran headlines last week repeating the charge that the US reaction to the Gulf Coast disaster, which has killed 11 people, and to Bhopal, where at least 15,000 died as a result of exposure to toxic gases leaking from a US-owned pesticide plant, was evidence of double standards.

Indians have reacted with fury to President Barack Obama’s tough stance against BP, accusing the US of double standards over industrial accidents after the failure to convict Americans involved in the Bhopal disaster of 1984 or to obtain what many view as adequate compensation for victims.

“It looks like Indian children’s lives are cheaper than [those of] fish,” Chetan Bhagat, the country’s best-selling writer, said. “Obama should bang his fist on the table. If he can do that for fish, how about our kids? Or are they only Indians?”

READ THIS STORY AT GUARDIAN.CO.UK

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