London Mayor Has Plan To Cut Carbon EmissionsLONDON --The mayor of London announced the city's first comprehensive plan to cut carbon emissions, stressing that global warming must be tackled locally.
Cities must seize the initiative on climate change, given the sluggish behavior of national governments, said Mayor Ken Livingstone.
"The fight to tackle climate change will either be won in cities such as London or will not be won at all," he said. "Cities are responsible for 75 percent of all the world's carbon emissions, and what London does to cut its emissions -- and by working with other cities to do the same -- could make a real difference."
Livingstone said London aims to reduce its emissions by 20.2 million tons by 2025 through municipal initiatives. He said he hoped emissions levels could be cut by an additional 13.1 million tons through national and international programs, such as initiatives to reduce air travel.
Livingstone's plan focuses on reducing carbon emissions in four areas: homes, businesses, energy production and transportation.
Under the plan, to take effect later this year, the city will charge vehicles according to their emissions levels. Zero-emission vehicles would travel free, while the highest-polluting cars would pay $49 a day.
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THE MIDDLE EAST · CAIRO --An Egyptian appeals court overturned a one-year sentence against editor Ibrahim Issa, who was convicted of defaming President Hosni Mubarak, and converted it into a fine of about $3,950.
Defense attorneys and journalists criticized the ruling because it upheld the conviction. A member of the defense said they would take their appeal to Egypt's highest court.
Egyptian and international human rights groups had criticized the jail sentence, saying it was part of a pattern of silencing critics. In his writings in al-Dustour, Issa, 41, regularly attacked Mubarak, referring to him as the "pharaoh dictator."
Authorities closed his newspaper for seven years starting in 1998 for its anti-government line.
· SANAA, Yemen --Yemen's powerful Islamic political party replaced a top leader, Abdul Majid al-Zindani, whom Washington suspects of funding terrorism and supporting al-Qaeda. President Bush had asked Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh last year to arrest Zindani because of suspected links to terrorism.
· NABLUS, West Bank --The Israeli army withdrew its forces from the city of Nablus after a three-day hunt for Palestinian guerrillas that led to five arrests and uncovered several weapons workshops. The army said the operation was not over, however.
The raid paralyzed life in Nablus, with an estimated 50,000 people confined to their homes as troops combed houses and alleys for wanted men. One Palestinian was killed in the raid, the largest military operation in the West Bank since July.
The raid was necessary, the army said, because most suicide bombers trying to enter Israel from the West Bank come from Nablus. Troops arrested five men and uncovered workshops used to manufacture explosive devices and bomb belts, and a studio where suicide bombers recorded their farewell statements, the army said.
· OTTAWA --Canada's Parliament voted 159 to 124 to scrap two anti-terrorism measures, which expire Thursday, on the grounds that they had never been used. The move angered the minority Conservatives, who accused the opposition of being soft on terror.
One provision allows police to arrest people suspected of planning an imminent terrorist attack and hold them for three days without charge. The other provides for investigative hearings in which a judge can compel witnesses to testify about alleged terrorist activities.
· CARACAS, Venezuela --Cuban leader Fidel Castro, who has not appeared in public since undergoing stomach surgery in July, said on a live radio show that he was recovering and feeling stronger.
"I am gaining ground," he said on the talk show hosted by Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez, adding that he felt he had more "energy and more strength."
It was the first time the Cuban leader has spoken in a live broadcast since his emergency operation.
· MEXICO CITY --Mexico's Supreme Court ordered the armed forces to readmit soldiers with HIV to the ranks, in a groundbreaking ruling that will set a precedent for similar cases filed by military personnel.
· HAVANA --Five dissidents arrested in 2005 in demonstrations against Cuba's communist government were sentenced to jail terms of up to two years, a human rights activist said.
ASIA · SEOUL --North Korea on Wednesday proposed a resumption of humanitarian projects at the first high-level talks with South Korea in the wake of Pyongyang's nuclear test, heralding renewed reconciliation between the Koreas after the North pledged to dismantle its nuclear program.
· ZURICH --A man in Switzerland conned one of the country's biggest media companies into publishing a two-page advertisement he created of himself posing semi-naked beside a bottle of Gucci perfume.
The man, who said he represented the Italian fashion giant, called the Swiss weekly SonntagsZeitung last week to book the expensive color spread in Sunday's edition and asked that the bill be sent to Gucci, said Christoph Zimmer, a spokesman for the paper.
Police refused to identify the man under Swiss privacy laws.
-- From News Services