In Asia, World Leaders Pledge To Combat Isolationist Trade Policies

Global Leaders Urge End To Isolationist Trade Practices As the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meetings get under way, leaders expressed concerns that protectionist trade policies were harming economic growth. The ministers gathered for the APEC conference did release an agreement to not construct new barriers to trade and investment.

The leaders reiterated their “shared commitment towards a seamless regional economy and to continue our course to integrate to grow and to innovate to prosper” in its ministerial statement.

Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong argued that it is “important to maintain that public support for openness and integration because unless you have that — if we all close ourselves up, or even hinder the process of trading and doing business with one another — I think we are just going to make things worse for all the countries.”

Meanwhile, Secretary of State John Kerry, who was serving as President Obama’s replacement for the meetings, reasserted the commitment of the US to Asia, but also took an opportunity to attack Congress for failing to fund the government.

“Republicans should think long and hard about the message that we send to the world when we can’t get our own act together,” he said.

Can Texas Be The Model For Water Conservation?
Next City interviews the Nature Conservancy’s Laura Hoffman about efforts she has made in Texas to raise public awareness of the need to conserve water and how those efforts can serve as guideposts for other cities in the US and elsewhere.

Hoffman says Texas’ state water plan “sets in motion probably three things that I think could help positively impact the future of Texas, that could make Texas a leader maybe even globally” in ways to combat the problems associated water scarcity.

The most important part is finding ways to cut back on water usage across the board, including individuals, businesses and municipalities, and then prioritizing between projects. Lastly, she said there will be a need to constantly update its plans and approaches to water conservation.

“The third thing may seem small, but I think it’s going to end up being important. That plan has to be updated every five years. In Austin, we thought it would be decades before the city had to think about an alternate water supply. And this drought is teaching us that that’s not true. It’ll be far sooner than that,” she told Next City.

Inside The Effort To Destroy Syria’s Chemical Weapons The Christian Science Monitor’s Nicholas Branford wades through the unprecedented and historic effort by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons to locate and destroy Syria’s chemical weapons.

As challenging it will be for the OPCW to locate the weapons, it also is no easy task to destroy them.

“Once the arsenal has been logged and secured, the OPCW will have to decide on the best means of destroying the weapons. In the past, chemical weapons were often simply tossed into the sea. In 1947, Britain and the Soviet Union disposed of an estimated 65,000 tons of German chemical weapons by dumping them into the Baltic Sea, where today the corroding containers pose a health risk to surrounding nations.

“The adoption of the CWC in 1997 effectively ended such haphazard practices. Today, the favored destruction methods are incineration, hydrolyzation, and detonation with explosives,” he says.



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