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G7 leaders reach impasse on climate, urge cyber crackdown


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G7 leaders reach impasse on climate, urge cyber crackdown

By Andreas Rinke and Steve Holland

 

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From L-R, European Council President Donald Tusk, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, U.S. President Donald Trump, Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni, French President Emmanuel Macron, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker pose for a family photo during the G7 Summit in Taormina, Sicily, Italy, May 26, 2017. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer

 

TAORMINA, Italy (Reuters) - Leaders from the world's major industrialised nations failed to persuade U.S. President Donald Trump to back a landmark climate deal at a G7 summit in Sicily on Friday after hours of talks that were described by Germany's leader as "controversial".

 

Meeting days after a suicide bomber killed 22 people at a concert in northern England, the leaders did issue a joint statement on fighting terrorism, admonishing internet service providers and social media companies to "substantially increase" their efforts to rein in extremist content.

 

Host Paolo Gentiloni, the prime minister of Italy, said the group was also inching closer to finding common language on trade, a contentious issue between Trump - elected on an "America First" platform - and the six other leaders.

 

But on the issue of climate, there was no breakthrough.

 

"There is one open question, which is the U.S. position on the Paris climate accords," Gentiloni told reporters, referring to a 2015 deal on reducing greenhouse gas emissions. "All others have confirmed their total agreement on the accord."

 

U.S. officials had signalled beforehand that Trump, who dismissed climate change as a "hoax" during his campaign, would not take a decision on the climate deal in Taormina, the cliff-top town overlooking the Mediterranean where G7 leaders met.

 

But other leaders, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel and new French President Emmanuel Macron, had hoped to sway the president at his first major international summit since entering the White House four months ago.

 

Merkel described the climate debate as "controversial". There was a "very intensive" exchange of views, she said.

 

Trump's economic adviser Gary Cohn said Trump's views on climate were "evolving" and that he would ultimately do what was best for the United States.

 

The summit, held at a luxury hotel that was once a Dominican monastery and base for the Nazi air force during World War Two, took place a day after Trump blasted NATO allies for spending too little on defence and described Germany's trade surplus as "very bad" in a meeting with EU officials.

 

His NATO speech shocked allies, who had been expecting him to reaffirm Washington's commitment to Article 5, the part of the military alliance's founding treaty which describes an attack on one member as an attack on all.

 

They were also disappointed that he did not touch on Russia, which was expelled from what was then called the G8 in 2014 because of its annexation of Crimea from Ukraine.

 

Accusations from U.S. intelligence agencies that Russia intervened in the U.S. election to help Trump, and investigations into his campaign's contacts with Russian officials, have dogged his presidency and prevented him from delivering on a campaign promise to get close to Moscow.

 

WAR SHIPS

 

The summit kicked off with a ceremony at an ancient Greek theatre overlooking the sea, where war ships patrolled the sparkling blue waters.

Nine fighter jets soared into the sky above Taormina, leaving a trail of smoke in the red-white-green colours of the Italian flag.

 

Italy chose to stage the summit in Sicily to draw attention to Africa, which is 140 miles (225 km) from the island at its closest point across the Mediterranean.

 

More than half a million migrants, most from sub-Saharan Africa, have reached Italy by boat since 2014, taking advantage of the chaos in Libya to launch their perilous crossings.

 

The deadly attack in Manchester was carried out by a suspected Islamist militant of Libyan descent who grew up in Britain.

 

"Today G7 leaders have joined Britain in condemning this barbaric act of violence," said British Prime Minister Theresa May, who left the summit a day early to deal with the aftermath of the attack.

 

Speaking about internet companies, she added: "In particular, I want to see them report this vile content to the authorities and block the users who spread it."

 

The leaders are expected to issue a final communique on Saturday. Italian officials have suggested it will be shorter than 10 pages, compared to 32 pages at the last G7 summit in Japan.

 

As the leaders attended a concert and gala dinner, aides continued to work on the final wording.

 

"On the major theme of global trade, we are still working on the shape of the final communique, but it seems to me the direct discussions today have produced common positions that we can work on," said Gentiloni.

 

 
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-- © Copyright Reuters 2017-05-27
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9 minutes ago, rooster59 said:

Trump's economic adviser Gary Cohn said Trump's views on climate were "evolving"

That says to me that it is taking a very long time to get Donald's limited intellect to actually comprehend the issue.

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I keep reading how agencies like the CIA and the Pentagon consider global change to be a reality.  Even NASA bothered to put on their website the following:

 

"The current warming trend is of particular significance because most of it is extremely likely (greater than 95 percent probability) to be the result of human activity since the mid-20th century and proceeding at a rate that is unprecedented over decades to millennia."

 

And, these are people who literally do rocket science. 

 

Also, didn't Exxon's own scientists warn of this problem decades ago?:

 

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/exxon-knew-about-climate-change-almost-40-years-ago/

 

Having been on this planet for a while, my guess is that greed and profits trump science.  (Sorry for the bad pun, but it was truly unintended.)  I bet Trump will rely upon science when either they or a loved one heads to the OR or the ER. 

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7 hours ago, darksidedog said:

That says to me that it is taking a very long time to get Donald's limited intellect to actually comprehend the issue.

Actually Trump is struggling with this.  He has to stick to the rhetoric in his campaign because he is dogged by u-turning and failing on just about everything and the mob and the critics are really on his back now.  On the other hand he wants to suck up to just about everyone he is meeting on this trip.  That is evident from his visit to Saudi Arabia, Israel and Rome.  Hence the "evolving" which simply means he is playing for time.  When he get's back to Washington and he is surrounded by his lunatic chums I think he will revert to his position of climate change is a hoax.   The man has no backbone at all.

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8 hours ago, rooster59 said:

TAORMINA, Italy (Reuters) - Leaders from the world's major industrialised nations failed to persuade U.S. President Donald Trump to back a landmark climate deal at a G7 summit in Sicily on Friday after hours of talks that were described by Germany's leader as "controversial".

Controversial one can only imagine. The Donald thumbing his nose at climate change and then trotted out his 23 of 28 countries are moochers and owed NATO (US) billions. Yes Donald your so predictable.  

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4 minutes ago, dunroaming said:

Actually Trump is struggling with this.  He has to stick to the rhetoric in his campaign because he is dogged by u-turning and failing on just about everything and the mob and the critics are really on his back now.  On the other hand he wants to suck up to just about everyone he is meeting on this trip.  That is evident from his visit to Saudi Arabia, Israel and Rome.  Hence the "evolving" which simply means he is playing for time.  When he get's back to Washington and he is surrounded by his lunatic chums I think he will revert to his position of climate change is a hoax.   The man has no backbone at all.

WOW talk about insight. We are on the same page plus. 

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Tried to Google how many times these turkeys have met over my lifetime and but could not come up with something concrete similar to the none concrete answers they come up with. The players change every few years not much else I am afraid. 

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Yes by all means a cyber crackdown. Ancient vulnerable computers with ancient programs and lack of updating just sitting ducks waiting for the worm to enter. I consider this just another part of the ailing infrastructure that has gone unfunded so that the money can be spent on "defense" The world has truly been hollowed out a sitting duck waiting to be attacked. All the Kings horses and all the Kings men will not keep it safe. 

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