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APEC Summit Ends with Pledge to Conclude Doha Round, No Emission Cut Targets.


APEC: Asia-Pacific leaders ended their summit in Singapore Sunday with a final statement that pledged a conclusion of the Doha Round of global trade talks in 2010, but removed targets for carbon emissions cuts. The 21-member Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit dropped a target to cut greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2050, despite declaring climate change one of the biggest global challenges. APEC agreed a new growth strategy is needed to meet the needs of the global economy. Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong read an outline of the statement to APEC leaders. The APEC leaders also rejected all forms of protectionism and said they would commit to concluding the Doha Round of trade talks next year. The talks have been deadlocked over disagreements between developing and developed nations on cutting farm subsidies and tariffs. The declaration Sunday also said the 21 member economies will maintain stimulus policies until a durable global economic recovery has clearly taken hold. Mr. Obama announced that his native U.S. state, Hawaii, will host the APEC summit in 2011.

OBAMA - RUSSIA: U.S. President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitri Medvedev say they still plan to have a replacement START nuclear arms reduction treaty ready by the end of the year. Mr. Obama and his Russian counterpart met in Singapore Sunday after the close of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum. The two leading nuclear powers have committed to a replacement for their Start-One pact, which expires on December 5. The two leaders also said time is running out for Iran to agree to a deal to ship its enriched uranium out of the country for further processing. Mr. Medvedev said he still hopes to convince Iran to send its enriched uranium to Russia, where it could be further processed to fuel an aging reactor in Tehran.

OBAMA - ASEAN: U.S. President Barack Obama met in Singapore Sunday with leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, including Burma. Although Mr. Obama and Burmese Prime Minister General Thein Sein were in the same room, the two men did not come in contact with each other. However, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs told reporters the president called for the release of detained opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi and all other political prisoners in Burma and an end to oppression of minorities. Nobel Peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi has been under some form of detention for 14 of the last 20 years. Mr. Obama's last meeting before leaving Singapore for Shanghai was with Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

US - GUANTANAMO: Obama administration officials say a near-empty prison in the (northern) state of Illinois may house detainees from the Guantanamo Bay detention center along with federal inmates. Officials said late Saturday the maximum-security Thomson Correctional Facility, located 220 kilometers west of Chicago, has emerged as a leading option for the federal government to buy. The government could then relocate suspected terrorists to the 1,600-cell prison. Officials would not say how many or when Guantanamo Bay detainees could be transferred to Illinois. State Governor Pat Quinn will hold a news conference Sunday. Local officials have noted that federal use of the prison would create badly needed jobs.

KOSOVO ELECTIONS: Polls have opened in Kosovo for the first time since the ethnic Albanian majority declared independence from Serbia in 2008. More than 1.5 million voters are eligible to vote in the local election for mayors and council members in 36 municipalities, including the capital, Pristina. Seventy-four political parties and citizens' groups are taking part in the polls, including some Serbian candidates. But Kosovo's minority Serb population has threatened to boycott the vote. NATO peacekeepers were brought in Saturday to disarm an unexploded hand grenade found at an opposition party's offices.
Authorities planned to deploy 5,000 officers around polling stations following several incidents during the election campaign. First preliminary results are expected within hours after polls close.

MIDEAST - BILL CLINTON: Former U.S. President Bill Clinton is calling on Israel and Palestinians to put aside their differences and move toward peace, saying they can not escape their "common future." Mr. Clinton made the remarks Saturday at a memorial center dedicated to former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin in the Israeli city of Tel Aviv. Mr. Rabin was assassinated in November of 1995 by a Jewish extremist opposed to his efforts to make peace with the Palestinians. Former President Clinton says had the Israeli leader not been killed 14 years ago, there would have been a comprehensive agreement for Middle East peace within three years. As president, Mr. Clinton worked closely with Mr. Rabin and the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat on peace negotiations during the 1990s. The Israeli and Palestinian leaders won the Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts.

FRANCE - VIOLENCE: A publicity stunt by a French Internet marketing company, which planned a massive cash giveaway in Paris, turned violent Saturday after the company failed to deliver. Police say that after more than 5,000 people jammed the city center near the Eiffel Tower, authorities requested the organizers not to go ahead with the planned handout of money.
Many people had waited for hours for the event and the cancelation triggered ugly scenes, with angry mobs bursting through metal barriers, smashing shop windows and overturning at least one car. Police arrested around 10 people.
The French News Agency quoted the chairman of the marketing company as saying the money intended for distribution would instead be given to a charity.


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