Thursday’s Headlines: U.S. to Help Build $100 Billion Fund for Climate
–Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks at a press conference Thursday at the U.N. Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen. (Photo by Henning Bagger/AFP/Getty Images.)
In a bid to jumpstart stalled talks at the international climate summit in Copenhagen, the United States pledged Thursday to help raise $100 billion a year to assist poor nations cope with global warming.
“A hundred billion can have tangible effects,” said Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, in announcing the pledge. She emphasized, however, that the pledge was contingent on a broad agreement coming out of the summit, one that includes a measure for tracking emissions cuts.
That could be tricky. China has thus far resisted any measure that would force it to verify its cuts, arguing such a requirement would be an intrusion on its sovereignty. Also complicating matters: Discovering which countries emit which greenhouse gases is not as straightforward as it seems, reports the Economist.
President Barack Obama is set to appear at the summit Friday, albeit to a much different tenor than was being expressed in Copenhagen just a few days ago, as Ray Suarez told Jeffrey Brown from Copenhagen on Wednesday’s NewsHour.
“Earlier in the week, people who were involved in the negotiations were talking about the impending arrival of the world leaders as both a reason to hurry along with the deliberations and as a catalyzing event which might help get things moving,” Suarez said. “Now they’re talking about the possible embarrassment of having all these world leaders here and going home empty-handed.”
We’ll have more throughout the day here on The Rundown and on this evening’s broadcast from Ray Suarez and the rest of the NewsHour team on the ground in Copenhagen. Stay tuned.
* The number of newly laid off workers filing claims for unemployment benefits unexpectedly rose to 480,000 last week, up 7,000 from the previous week, [the Labor Department said](http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5gNiyJ905Ho0Ur96V2TQhsBX19lGwD9CL3AO84) Thursday. * Hours after voting to raise the nation’s debt ceiling to $12.4 trillion, the House voted 217 to 212 late Wednesday in favor of [a $154 billion jobs bill](http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Politics/2009/1216/Second-stimulus-US-House-passes-154-billion-jobs-bill). While the debt measure is expected to make it to President Obama’s desk by Christmas, the Senate is unlikely to take up a new jobs bill before next year. * Militants in Iraq have been able to hack U.S. predator drones using off-the-shelf software as cheap as $26, [according to the Wall Street Journal](http://online.wsj.com/article/SB126102247889095011.html). * [The New York Times reports](http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/17/world/asia/17galbraith.html) that as widespread allegations of fraud mounted in Afghanistan’s presidential election three months ago, a former United Nations official there, [Peter W. Galbraith](http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/asia/july-dec09/afghanistan_10-01.html), proposed the White House help replace Afghan President Hamid Karzai. * Bank of America, the nation’s largest lender (and a corporate sponsor of the NewsHour), [has tapped the head of its consumer banking unit](http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=adVH3Psy.wYQ&pos=1), Brian T. Moynihan, to replace outgoing chief executive officer Kenneth D. Lewis. * The Senate Banking Committee on Thursday [is expected to recommend](http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE5BE5TG20091217) to the full Senate that it confirm Ben Bernanke to a second term as chairman of the Federal Reserve. The vote follows Time magazine’s announcement Wednesday that it named Bernanke as its “[Person of the Year](http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/business/july-dec09/bernanke_12-16.html).”