- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 30, 2006

SINGAPORE

Global warming seen as economic threat

SINGAPORE — Climate change is likely to significantly affect economies in the Asia-Pacific region, threatening the increasingly industrialized coastal belt and hurting the region’s poor, the World Bank said yesterday.

Rising sea levels, more intense storms and greater extremes of droughts and floods probably will cause greater loss of life and threaten the livelihoods of millions, the bank said in a report. Countries in the region are partly to blame, the bank said, because of their dependence on fossil fuels, and they need to do more to cut the emission of greenhouse gases.

JAPAN

U.S. missile radar due at Aomori base

AOMORI — Gov. Shingo Mimura of Aomori prefecture on northern Honshu said yesterday that he has agreed to host a U.S. military missile-defense radar at an Air Self-Defense Force base in the prefecture, as agreed by the Japanese and U.S. governments.

“We cannot help but accept it,” Mr. Mimura said at a press conference. “The radar is for warning and surveillance, and does not involve the use of weapons. We determined it would not mean enhancing the base’s functions because most of the staff to be stationed [at the radar site] are civilian technicians.”

INDONESIA

Understanding sought between Islam, West

JAKARTA — British Prime Minister Tony Blair called yesterday for greater cooperation and understanding between Islam and the West, which he said would help in the fight against global terrorism.

Mr. Blair, here for talks with President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, took his message to youngsters as he initiated an Internet program to link more than 1,000 schools in Britain and Indonesia. The British leader, questioned on his country’s backing of the U.S.-led “war on terror” by students at an Islamic boarding school, said his visit underlined the importance of building understanding.

Weekly notes …

Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo strongly endorsed yesterday a public petition to change the constitution, abolishing the upper house of Congress dominated by her political enemies. But analysts say attempts to replace the presidential system with a parliamentary setup this year are likely to be stymied by political and legal bickering, and they argue that such a shift could increase political instability. … A dinosaur-era tree long thought extinct went on sale in Australia yesterday, giving any gardener the chance to plant some pre-history for less than $45. A park ranger discovered a small stand of Wollemi Pines in mountains outside Sydney in 1994, stunning botanists because the trees were virtually unchanged since the Jurassic period 200 million years ago and thought to have been extinct for 2 million years.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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