XANTHE HALL – This week I read an email exchange that made me think. Actually, it worried me deeply. In one of the messages an old friend described the Nuclear Weapons Convention â€“ an idea many of us fought for since the early nineties â€“ as a â€œfairy tale.” A second mail called it a â€œdistraction.” The authors of these mails are not government representatives from nuclear weapon states or their allies, although you might be forgiven for thinking so. Both those descriptions have been used by states that want to brush aside the idea of a convention summarily, as if only for the very stupid or naÃ¯ve. No, these were colleagues. Since the strategy of pursuing a so-called Ban Treaty has been advocated by the International Campaign for the Abolition of Nuclear weapons (ICAN), at least by its International Steering Group and staff, a fierce debate has been raging between two groups. These are principally the younger and the older generation.
DAVID SWANSON – Congress can’t break 10 percent approval. Obama’s arms shipments to Syria just crack 10 percent, with 11 percent approval. Over 80 percent of Americans in more polls than I can count say over and over again that the government is broken and does not represent us. But when the mayors of the cities of the United States get together nationally one begins to see positions taken, at least rhetorically, that resemble government of, by, or for the people.
JOHN LAFORGE – James Holmes was in court Mon., July 30, in Aurora, Colorado, charged with 142 counts of murder, etc. The whole world knows of this initial hearing for the alleged murderer/terrorist because every detail of Holmesâ€™ life is now regularly put at the top of TV and radio news shows and above the fold in every newspaper. Someone kills a lot of people and the media swarms.Not so if your action was a peaceful attempt to prevent massacres.
DON KRAUS – The United States Senate has agreed to the New START Treaty. The bilateral nuclear arms treaty passed with bipartisan support by a 71 to 26 margin. The roll call vote came after months of highly partisan debate and despite a packed Senate schedule.
KYODO NEWS: U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki Moon has decided to visit Hiroshima on August 6 as the Japanese city marks the 65th anniversary of the 1945 atomic bombing, according to a senior U.N. official. The plan, expected to be formalized around July, would make Ban the first U.N. chief to attend an annual commemorative ceremony at the city’s Peace Memorial Park.