FROM David Unger
Will the Latest Climate Talks Start Something New? The first Earth Summit was held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. It was agreed that human interference was changing the climate and that something had to be done. Since then, conferences have been held all over the world--most notably in Kyoto in 1997 and Copenhagen in 2009 — without producing an enforceable strategy to cope with changes that are already under way or to prevent more change in the future. Now the leaders of nations covering 95% of the planet are convening in Paris to try again. Can even that limited goal survive differences between rich and developing nations and overcome domestic politics in the US and other countries?
DOT Releases Stricter Guidelines for Oil Trains After tragic accidents from Quebec to Virginia, the US Transportation Department announced new rules today for the thousands of rail cars carrying volatile fuel from the Mid West to coastal refineries. But oil production is increasing fast, and implementing the regulations will take time. Transportation Secretary Anthony Fox wants lower speed limits for trains carrying oil for thousands of miles… and the phase-out of outmoded train cars called DOT 111 — many of which are decades old.
In Janesville, WI, Middle America meets the new American dream Janesville, Wisconsin is the hometown of Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan. But he couldn't prevent the closing of the General Motors factory after 100 years. We hear what's happened to what once was a model of American middle-class unity.
Mixed Messages from US diplomats on the new hard line on Syria Since President Trump's surprise retaliation against Syria's use of chemical weapons, Bashar al-Assad has used the same airport to launch conventional attacks on his own people. It's not clear what the US, its allies — or Vladimir Putin's Russia -- plan to do now.