The Senate defeated a bill on Thursday to combat global warming by restricting the emissions of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases. \nThe 55-43 vote was the Senate's first vote on such a bill, and proponents said it had won a surprising amount of support, signaling that the concept of a policy on global warming has gained traction. \nThe measure's opponents hailed the defeat, saying it was a vindication of their view that the bill would harm the economy and drive companies overseas. \nSix Republicans joined Democrats in backing the measure, breaking ranks with the Bush administration, which opposes mandatory controls. \nThe bill's sponsors, Republican John McCain and Democrat Joseph Lieberman, said the vote was a first step in an inevitable move toward reducing the human contribution to global warming. \n"We will be back on this issue just like we were back on the issue of campaign finance reform," McCain said in the Senate debate. \nThe vote was the first time the Senate had taken up specific legislation to restrict emissions of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases. In 1997, just before the talks that eventually led to the international climate treaty known as the Kyoto Protocol, senators passed a resolution to reject any treaty that significantly harmed the American economy or that failed to include Third World countries. The protocol, which was rejected by President Bush in 2001, did exempt developing countries. \nThursday's vote, supporters of the bill said, reflected a growing concern among voters about global warming. Recent polls show that Americans strongly support actions to curb emissions of heat-trapping gases. \nOpponents of the bill said the support it had received meant little, because the senators were aware that the bill would never win approval in the House. Many voted for it only because doing so allowed them to gain points with environmentalists while avoiding true political costs, the opponents said. \n"In actuality," said Scott Segal, executive director of the Electric Reliability Coordination Council, a coalition of six major power companies, "the vote shows that most senators are extremely reluctant to potentially handicap the US economy and energy production." \nThe backers of the bill argued that not taking action to slow global warming would also have severe economic consequences. In the debate, Democrats Daniel Akaka and Olympia Snowe argued that rising sea levels and increasing temperatures would hurt agriculture and tourism in their states. \nThe bill would have required that companies restrict carbon dioxide emissions so that they would be no higher in 2010 than in 2000. Homes, farms and small businesses would have been exempt.
India has moved additional troops along its northern border as it prepares for an extended conflict with China, after several rounds of talks failed to ease tensions between the nuclear-armed rivals. China has already placed about 5,000 soldiers and armored vehicles within its side of the disputed border in the Ladakh region, an Indian government official said, asking not to be identified, citing rules. India is adding a similar number of troops as well as artillery guns along the border to fend off the continuing incursions by the Chinese army, the official said. The standoff began on May 5, when troops clashed
CLOSELY TRACKED: A US officer said that the warplanes were watched as they flew from Russia by way of Iran and Syria to Libya and were photographed multiple times The US Africa Command flatly rejected Russian claims that Moscow did not deploy fighter jets to Libya, saying on Friday that the 14 aircraft flown in reflect Russia’s long-term goal to establish a foothold in the region that could threaten NATO allies. US Brigadier General Gregory Hadfield, deputy director of intelligence, said that the US tracked the MiG-29s and Su-24 fighter bombers flown in by Russian military, passing through Iran and Syria before landing at Libya’s al-Jufra air base. The base is the main forward airfield for Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar and his self-styled Libyan National Army, which has been waging an
Singapore’s otters, long adored by the city-state’s nature lovers, are popping up in unexpected places during the COVID-19 lockdown, but their antics have angered some and even sparked calls for a cull. With the streets empty, the creatures have been spotted hanging out by a shopping center, scampering through the lobby of a hospital and even feasting on pricey fish stolen from a pond. While many think of tiny Singapore as a densely populated concrete jungle, it is also relatively green for a busy Asian city, and has patches of rainforest, fairly clean waterways and abundant wildlife. There are estimated to be about
Indonesian officials are forcing people who break social distancing rules to recite Koran verses, stay in “haunted” houses and submit to public shaming on social media as the country battles to contain surging novel coronavirus infections. The Southeast Asian archipelago began deploying about 340,000 troops across two dozen cities to oversee enforcement of measures aimed at halting transmission of the disease, such as wearing masks in public. However, provincial leaders are buttressing these efforts with their own zealous campaigns to fight the coronavirus. Police in western Bengkulu Province have assembled a 40-person squad to find lockdown scofflaws and force them to wear