Nation/World Briefs

New Zealand: Climate deal inadequate

DOHA, Qatar – Highlighting a rift between the rich countries and emerging economies such as China, New Zealand’s climate minister staunchly defended his government’s decision to drop out of the emissions pact for developed nations, saying it’s an outdated and insufficient response to global warming.

Other key issues at the conference include how to help emerging nations switch to climate-friendly energy sources and charting the course for a new treaty that would replace the Kyoto Protocol, which covers only developed countries.

New Zealand announced before the U.N.’s climate talks started here last week that it would not take part in the second phase of the Kyoto treaty. Climate Minister Tim Groser said New Zealand is “ahead of the curve” by shifting its attention from the 1997 Kyoto deal to a new global climate pact that would also include developing nations.

Elder Bush stable after lingering cough

HOUSTON – Former U.S. President George H.W. Bush remains in stable condition at a Houston hospital where he is being treated for a lingering cough related to bronchitis.

George Kovacik, a spokesman for Methodist Hospital, said Sunday there has been no change over the last couple of days in the status of the 88-year-old Bush.

Aides originally said the 41st president could be released from the hospital this weekend. But his cough has yet to clear up, meaning he has stayed put while doctors “play it safe.”

Bush has been in and out of the hospital recently for complications resulting from bronchitis.

Hospital visitors have included Bush’s son, former President George W. Bush, and his wife, former first lady Laura Bush. They live in Dallas.

Letterman, Hoffman, honored by Obama

WASHINGTON – David Letterman’s “stupid human tricks” and Top 10 lists are being vaulted into the ranks of cultural acclaim as the late-night comedian receives this year’s Kennedy Center Honors with rock band Led Zeppelin and three other artists.

Stars from Hollywood and the music world gathered Sunday at the White House to salute the comedian and the band, along with Dustin Hoffman, Chicago bluesman Buddy Guy and ballerina Natalia Makarova.

The honors are the nation’s highest award for those who influenced American culture through the arts. President Barack Obama hosted the recipients, who also will be saluted by fellow performers in a show to be broadcast Dec. 26 on CBS.

Associated Press

Comments » Read and share your thoughts on this story