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June 3, 2005



PAUL GIGOT: Winners and losers, picks and pans. Tony or Tacky, our way of calling attention to the best and the worst of the week. Bret calls attention to the case of Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the fallen oil tycoon who was sentenced this week to nine years in a Russian prison camp on charges of tax evasion and fraud. But there's a lot more to this, isn't there, Bret?

BRET STEPHENS: Yeah, well this is more than a tacky, it's an outrage by Vladimir Putin, the president of Russia. This was a show trial in every sense of the term. It harks back to the days of the 1930s, or at least the 1970s. Putin picked his ideal villain, a very successful Russian entrepreneur who built one of the most successful oil companies in the world. And Putin simply decided he wanted to steal that company, and put it in the hands of his cronies. And it really calls into question the future of Russia as a democratic state, as a state where people can invest. I think that what's regrettable is that the administration didn't heed John McCain's call to exclude Putin from the group of eight. He doesn't belong there.

PAUL GIGOT: Fascinating that John McCain is criticizing President Bush from the right on this one, Bret. Thank you.

And finally, the Japanese government is pushing its workers to fight global warming through casual dress and hotter offices. Rob, Tony or Tacky?

ROB POLLOCK: That's a tacky. Look, global warming is a speculative threat at best based on shaky computer models and unsupported by a temperature record that shows no clear warming trend. And what's more, there are lots of real problems out there in the world that governments could better focus their resources on. Recently a group of economists, including three Nobel laureates, got together to talk about the most serious problems, and which ones were most worth addressing and could be addressed in a cost-effective way. The project was called the Copenhagen Consensus, and they put global warming right at the bottom and they put issues like HIV and malnutrition in the developing world at the top. Let's hope that the Bush administration, which is surely going to face pressure at the G8 summit to do something about global warming, will bring the Copenhagen Consensus to people's attention.

PAUL GIGOT: Well one lesson here is steer clear of Tokyo in the summer. It can be a pretty hot and muggy place. And did you notice that the Prime Minister's bodyguards were still wearing suits in that clip we showed? All right. Thank you.

That's it for this edition of THE JOURNAL EDITORIAL REPORT. Thank you from all of us. We'll be back next week and we hope you'll join us then.