Planners ended two weeks of talks without agreeing on guidance for the 2015 Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty review meeting, the Associated Press reports.
An insufficient amount of bargaining time was the primary culprit for the failure by diplomats to endorse a final text for advising participants in next year’s NPT Review Conference, said Peruvian Ambassador Enrique Roman-Morey, chairman of the last Preparatory Committee session ahead of the May 2015 review meeting.
The Peruvian official said he would still sign his own name to guidelines developed at the two-week Preparatory Committee meeting in New York.
He added that the speed of efforts to dismantle existing atomic arsenals “is a problem.” The 46-year-old nonproliferation treaty requires signatories in possession of atomic arsenals — China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States — to pursue “good faith” talks on nuclear disarmament.
Roman-Morey added that the rate of progress toward potential action to ban weapons of mass destruction from the Middle East “is also a very big issue.” Nonproliferation treaty signatories called in 2010 for governments to examine the possibility in a specially organized gathering, but that meeting still has not taken place.
The new Preparatory Committee document calls for the conference to take place before the end of 2014. Roman-Morey said his own view is that the meeting will take place this year, and he noted a Russian diplomat’s suggestion that it could be scheduled in December.
Finnish diplomat Jaakko Laajava, the meeting’s facilitator, has taken part in a number of related discussions involving Israel, Iran and other Middle Eastern nations. Roman-Morey said Laajava and the conference organizers — Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States — would hold additional planning talks that would partly address possible focuses of the gathering.
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Foreign Policy takes a look at the future of mining the estimated "100,000 near-Earth objects—including asteroids and comets—in the neighborhood of our planet. Some of these NEOs, as they’re called, are small. Others are substantial and potentially packed full of water and various important minerals, such as nickel, cobalt, and iron. One day, advocates believe, those objects will be tapped by variations on the equipment used in the coal mines of Kentucky or in the diamond mines of Africa. And for immense gain: According to industry experts, the contents of a single asteroid could be worth trillions of dollars." But the technology to get us there is only the first step. Experts say "a multinational body might emerge" to manage rights to NEOs, as well as a body of law, including an international court.
Not to be outdone by Jeffrey Goldberg's recent piece in The Atlantic about President Obama's foreign policy, the New York Times Magazine checks in with a longread on the president's economic legacy. In it, Obama is cognizant that the economic reality--73 straight months of growth--isn't matched by public perceptions. Some of that, he says, is due to a constant drumbeat from the right that "that denies any progress." But he also accepts some blame himself. “I mean, the truth of the matter is that if we had been able to more effectively communicate all the steps we had taken to the swing voter,” he said, “then we might have maintained a majority in the House or the Senate.”
Ronald Reagan's children and political allies took to the media and Twitter this week to chide funnyman Will Ferrell for his plans to play a dementia-addled Reagan in his second term in a new comedy entitled Reagan. In an open letter, Reagan's daughter Patti Davis tells Ferrell, who's also a producer on the movie, “Perhaps for your comedy you would like to visit some dementia facilities. I have—I didn’t find anything comedic there, and my hope would be that if you’re a decent human being, you wouldn’t either.” Michael Reagan, the president's son, tweeted, "What an Outrag....Alzheimers is not joke...It kills..You should be ashamed all of you." And former Rep. Joe Walsh called it an example of "Hollywood taking a shot at conservatives again."
In a sign that she’s ready to put a longer-than-expected primary battle behind her, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (D) is no longer going on the air in upcoming primary states. “Team Clinton hasn’t spent a single cent in … California, Indiana, Kentucky, Oregon and West Virginia, while” Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) “campaign has spent a little more than $1 million in those same states.” Meanwhile, Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Sanders’ "lone backer in the Senate, said the candidate should end his presidential campaign if he’s losing to Hillary Clinton after the primary season concludes in June, breaking sharply with the candidate who is vowing to take his insurgent bid to the party convention in Philadelphia.”
The team behind the bestselling "Clinton Cash"—author Peter Schweizer and Breitbart's Stephen Bannon—is turning the book into a movie that will have its U.S. premiere just before the Democratic National Convention this summer. The film will get its global debut "next month in Cannes, France, during the Cannes Film Festival. (The movie is not a part of the festival, but will be shown at a screening arranged for distributors)." Bloomberg has a trailer up, pointing out that it's "less Ken Burns than Jerry Bruckheimer, featuring blood-drenched money, radical madrassas, and ominous footage of the Clintons."