CLIMATE CONFERENCE: U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon says climate talks in Copenhagen have sealed a deal. However, the nearly 200 countries attending the conference agreed only
to "take note" of the non-binding accord negotiated by U.S. President
Barack Obama, falling short of a full endorsement.
But Secretary-General Ban said that is enough for the Copenhagen Agreement to have immediate operational effect. It calls for each country to submit plans for cutting carbon emissions to limit global warming to two degrees Celsius. The deal also includes a method for verifying reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, and $100 billion to help developing nations curb their emissions. During an all-night session the accord met furious resistance from some developing nations.
AFGHANISTAN: Afghan President Hamid Karzai has presented his list of Cabinet nominees to parliament. The composition of the new Cabinet is widely seen as a test of
President Karzai's commitment to reform, after being re-elected in a
disputed presidential vote in August. The lineup must be debated by parliament and endorsed by lawmakers before it becomes official.
The new list retains the heads of the interior, defense and finance ministries from the previous cabinet. It does not include a nomination for the position of foreign minister. Western nations have been pressing Mr. Karzai to rid his government of corruption and have threatened to hold back troops and aid unless he does. Some Afghan lawmakers have expressed discontent with President Karzai's choices.
In other news, international forces in Afghanistan say a U.S. soldier was killed Friday by a roadside explosive in southern Afghanistan. No further details were released.
CAMBODIA-UIGHURS: Cambodian officials say they will deport 20 Muslin Uihgurs who fred there after the July unrest in northwest China's Xinjiang region. A Cambodia foreign ministry spokesman sai Saturday that the group would be expelled because they had entered the country illegally. He did not say when they would be deported or what their destination would be.the announcement comes as Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping visits Cambodia on Sunday as part of fpor-country tour.
OBAMA HMONG: u.S. President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle have issued a statement to the Hmong people, wishing them a prosperous and healthy New Year. The Hmong ethnic minority helped the U.S. in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War, and many fled to America and other countries when the communist took over Laos in 1975. The president said their struggle and sacrifice to build communities and families in the U.S. have reminded Americans of what is best about their country.
NIGERIA-OIL: Nigeria's main militant group has claimed reponsibility for an attack on an oil pipeline in the oil-rich Niger Delta, bringing an end to a cease-fire agreemnet the government had with the rebels. The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, or MEND, said in a statement Saturday it attacked a major oil pipeline operated by Shell and Chevron in Rivers State.