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News Wrap: Climate deal negotiators move into critical phase

In our news wrap Monday, negotiators on a global climate deal began the second and final week of the UN conference in Paris. A draft agreement was released over the weekend, which left all of the critical disputes unresolved. Also, Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders outlined his own climate plan, which aims to cut U.S. carbon pollution 40 percent from 1990 levels by 2030.

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    In the day's other news, negotiators on a global climate deal moved into a critical phase in Paris. This is the second and final week of the U.N. conference.

    U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon warned ministers from nearly 200 countries not to duck hard decisions.

  • BAN KI-MOON, Secretary-General, United Nations (through interpreter):

    The clock is ticking towards climate catastrophe. The world is expecting more from you than half-measures and incremental approaches. It is calling for a transformative agreement, an agreement that opens the way for peace, stability and prosperity.


    Negotiators released a draft agreement over the weekend, which left all of the critical disputes unresolved.

    Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders outlined his own climate strategy today aimed at what he calls the billionaire fossil fuel lobby. The Vermont senator's plan aims to cut U.S. carbon pollution 40 percent from 1990 levels by the year 2030. Sanders says he would ban Arctic and offshore drilling, and he's calling for an end to subsidies for fossil fuel companies.

    In Venezuela, they're still counting the votes from Sunday's stunning parliamentary election. But it's already clear the results will challenge years of Socialist domination in the Latin America oil state.

    Chief foreign affairs correspondent Margaret Warner has this report.


    It was a raucous scene throughout the night in the streets of Caracas, filled with victory chants, car horns honking, and people hugging, after the opposition coalition took control of the national assembly with 62 percent of yesterday's vote. A top coalition official hailed the results, even as the counting continued.

  • JESUS TORREALBA, Secretary General, Democratic Unity (through interpreter):

    This day will tell you that the citizens have decided to walk together, they will say that hope is always more powerful than fear.


    The morning newspapers confirmed it: Opposition candidates won 99 seats to the ruling Socialist Party's 46, with 22 races still outstanding.

    ANDREA ROSALES, Caracas resident (through interpreter): I'm immensely happy because this is the start of a change for Venezuela, a change that we needed for many years, and that's reflected in the fall or the start of the fall of the current government in power.


    Socialist President Nicolas Maduro conceded the loss, but blamed an economic war waged by foreign elements and a bid for power by the conservative moneyed class.


    In Venezuela, the opposition hasn't won, for now, a counter-revolution that is at our doorstep has won.


    Maduro came to power in 2013, succeeding the charismatic revolutionary Hugo Chavez, who ruled for 14 years. But with falling oil prices, the economy of this oil-rich country has tanked, with 180 percent inflation this year and near-empty store shelves.

    Michael Shifter is president of the Inter-American Dialogue in Washington.

  • MICHAEL SHIFTER, President, Inter-American Dialogue:

    The economic situation in Venezuela is horrible. It's hard to think of another precedent that's as bad as Venezuela's. The inflation rate is the highest in the world. There are shortages. People are waiting for three hours to get toilet paper. It just became absolutely unacceptable, and so the performance of the government, I think, was on the line, and the voters — the voters had their say.


    The opposition also demanded its jailed leaders and supporters be freed, like local Mayor Leopoldo Lopez, serving 14 years for promoting political violence. His wife spoke last night.

    LILIAN TINTORI, Wife of Leopoldo Lopez (through interpreter): Thank you for your vote. Thank you for fighting. Thank you for resisting, which can get tiring. We didn't get tired. We did it.


    This evening, as Venezuelans waited for the official final tally, the opposition announced it's captured the two-thirds supermajority needs to curb Maduro's near-absolute power.


    But, in Washington, the White House said it's too soon to tell if the outcome in Venezuela will alter years of antagonism toward the United States.

    France's far-right National Front Party has scored its best election showing ever in the wake of the terror attacks in Paris. Supporters celebrated last night as the anti-immigration party won in six of 13 regions in Sunday's first round of voting. The second round is next Sunday.

    The price of oil plunged today to its lowest since early 2009. It closed at $37.65 a barrel in New York, down nearly 6 percent. That, in turn, drove down energy stocks and the broader market. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 117 points to finish at 17730. The Nasdaq fell 40 points. And the S&P 500 shed 14.

    And this day marked 74 years since Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, plunging the United States into World War II. In Hawaii, a presentation of memorial wreaths highlighted ceremonies overlooking the USS Arizona memorial. The event also paid tribute to elderly survivors of the attack.