Two Concerns for Olympics: Air and Access. With a month remaining before the Beijing Olympics, the International Olympic Committee on Tuesday praised the city’s preparations but also cited two “open issues” that remain: whether the city can deliver good air quality and fulfill promises to allow television networks to broadcast from non-Olympic sites. Pollution and media access remain uncertainties as Beijing hustles to finish construction projects, plant flowers and get the city ready for the August 8 opening ceremonies. — NYT

Cheney’s Environmental Influence. The revelation by a former Environmental Protection Agency official that a member of Vice President Dick Cheney’s staff altered the politically damaging testimony of an EPA colleague is only the latest evidence of Cheney’s influence and power in shaping the nation’s environmental policy. Scores of interviews and government records showed that Cheney took on a decisive role as vice president to undercut long-standing environmental regulations for the benefit of business. — Washington Post

Massive under-reporting of fish catches leads to declining stocks. The total amount of fish being caught in the world is significantly under-reported because official statistics do not take into account the substantial catches made by some of the poorest nations that rely on fishing as a food staple, a study has found. Scientists have estimated that for more than 50 years the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation has failed to report the huge volumes of fish being caught collectively by small-scale fisheries in its statistics on national catches. — The Independent

Major Economies Climate Meeting a “Sideshow”
– The only good news about the Bush “major economies meeting” (MEM) is that it has mercifully now come to an end—not with a bang, but a whimper. There is no agreement among the industrialized countries on key issues, including the level of ambition and base year for both mid-term and long-term emissions reductions and how to meet the need for greatly ramped-up assistance to developing countries both for clean technology and adaptation measures. It is abundantly clear that until there is a new US president who is prepared to join the EU and major developing countries in framing a truly responsible approach to the climate issue, little progress can be made. — Union of Concerned Scientists


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