Bush offers alternativesto Kyoto accord
WASHINGTON -- President Bush is proposing an array of tax incentives to encourage businesses, farmers and individuals to reduce pollution as an alternative to an international global warming accord he said would hurt the U.S. economy.
Bush last year rejected the Kyoto Protocol, which required 40 industrialized nations to reduce the carbon dioxide emissions -- the so-called greenhouse gases believed to cause global warming.
He said the treaty -- worked out by the Clinton administration but not ratified by the Senate-- could cost millions of American jobs. The pact commits industrial nations to roll back greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels.
Instead, Bush seeks to draw more businesses into a "registry" of companies that report their greenhouse gas output to the government. They then could trade newly created credits with each other, much as they can under Clean Air Act provisions aimed at curbing acid rain.
"This new approach will harness the power of markets, the creativity of entrepreneurs, and draw on the best scientific research," Bush said in remarks prepared for delivery today at the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration.
Scottish Parliamentbans fox hunting
EDINBURGH, Scotland -- The Scottish Parliament voted Wednesday to outlaw fox hunting with dogs in Scotland -- an issue just as hotly debated in England, where legislation has been delayed.
After more than six hours of debate, Scottish legislators voted 83 to 36, with five abstentions, to pass the Protection of Wild Mammals Bill, which will bring an end to a centuries-old tradition.
Fox hunters had staged a series of last-ditch demonstrations Wednesday in the hours before the vote. Up to 1,000 people, 150 horses and packs of hounds from all over Scotland gathered at Kelso, on the Scottish side of the border with England, to stage a mass hunt.
"It's what we've campaigned for over many years," said Mike Hobday of the League Against Cruel Sports. "It's long been clear that the majority of people right across Britain are opposed to fox hunting and we're absolutely delighted that the Scottish Parliament has been the first one to take this step.
"It gives a very clear signal to Tony Blair and the government that where Scotland leads, England should follow," Hobday said.
The law will take effect next month after it receives expected approval from Queen Elizabeth II.
Authorities arrest 47in massive drug bust
CARTHAGE, Mo. -- With helicopters buzzing overhead, authorities conducted a massive drug and weapons bust in this small Missouri town, arresting 47 people and hinting more could be on the way.
"The investigation is not over," said Chris Whitley, a spokesman for U.S. Attorney Todd Graves. "I wouldn't call this a culmination. It has finally reached a very public and visible stage."
The bust, involving about 180 officers, focused on the distribution of drugs including cocaine, methamphetamine and marijuana from California, Texas and Guatemala to various counties around the state, Whitley said. More than 100 weapons linked to one suspect were also recovered, he said.
The raids began before dawn Wednesday with helicopters flying above the town of about 12,500 residents located about 55 miles west of Springfield.
The sweep, which came after a two-year investigation, involved local police, the Missouri State Highway Patrol and agents from the FBI, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and the Drug Enforcement Agency.
The investigation and has led to state or federal charges against 62 people so far, said Whitley.
Valentine's Day foes
NEW DELHI, India -- Hindu nationalists marched to parliament and burned Valentine's Day cards Wednesday to show their opposition to the growing influence of Western culture in India.
The 20 nationalists waved religious saffron flags and demanded Valentine's Day celebrations be banned in predominantly Hindu India. They called the cards obscene because they show young couples embracing and kissing.
"I bought some of these cards for 150 rupees [about $3] each to prove that this is not our culture," said Jai Bhagwan, chief of the New Delhi branch of the Shiv Sena party.
He said party workers will visit shops selling Valentine's Day cards to distribute flyers telling people to avoid copying Western customs.
Last year, young couples having Valentine's Day meals in a fast food restaurant in central New Delhi had to run for safety as slogan-shouting men, claiming to represent the Shiv Sena party, smashed potted plants, tossed chairs and knocked over diners' trays.