Ban Ki-Moon “deeply concerned” over Copenhagen breakdown

The Guardian reports a split between Europe and the US over Copenhagen. In an interview, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon says, “We are deeply concerned that the negotiation is not making much headway … leaders [must] demonstrate their political will, leadership, and to give clear political guidelines to the negotiators.” In a letter published in medical journals, 17 leading doctors write: “There is a real danger that politicians [at Copenhagen] will be indecisive … Should their response be weak, the results for international health could be catastrophic.” The Express suggests that three-quarters of British people support ownership of wind turbine manufacturing such as the Vesta plant on the Isle of Wight.

Gordon Brown used the word “cut” 16 times in his TUC speech yesterday. He announced that the government will save £500 million by reforming Whitehall’s scheme for civil servants’ early retirement packages. George Osborne hinted that the Tories would look to axe £30 billion in defence projects in a move seen as “posturing” by industry insiders.

Iain Duncan Smith unveils plans to replace 51 different benefits with two and smooth marginal tax rates for those returning to work. The plans cost £2.7 billion to implement. A spokesman for David Cameron said, “any changes need intense and careful scrutiny and we shall be looking at these proposals in that light.” The Independent announces the Government will publish a “Back to Work” White Paper alongside the pre-Budget report in November.

Conservative MEP Edward McMillan-Scott has been expelled from the Conservative Party after 25 years for criticising their decision to join a “hardline right-wing alliance in the European Parliament.” Meanwhile, Left Foot Forward can exclusively reveal that Angela Merkel’s CDU have withdrawn their London representative in a what is described as a”signal” to David Cameron.

The US, Joint Chiefs of Staff Mike Mullen called yesterday for expanded commitments and resources for Afghanistan while giving evidence in the Senate.  He said that success in Afghanistan “means more forces, and, without question, more time and more commitment to the protection of the Afghan people and to the development of good governance.”
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