News and notes from across the region |

News and notes from across the region

Submit your comments on wolf delisting by Dec. 17

The US Fish & Wildlife has extended the comment period to remove the gray wolf from the Endangered Species list in the lower 48 states until Dec. 17. Wolves have been taken off the Endangered Species list in Wyoming and Montana but are still listed in western North Dakota, and western South Dakota. This comment period is regarding the possibility of removing them completely from the Endangered Species list in the lower 48 states. Written comments and information concerning the proposed rule can be submitted by one of the following methods to the appropriate docket number. Follow the instructions for submitting comments to the following docket number: Gray wolf: Docket No. [FWS–HQ–ES–2013–0073]

Option 1: Send email your comments to the federal eRulemaking Portal:

Option 2: U.S. mail or hand-delivery: Public Comments Processing, Attn: [docket number FWS–HQ–ES–2013–0073]; Division of Policy and Directives Management; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; 4401 N. Fairfax Drive, MS 2042–PDM; Arlington, VA 22203.

Geneva trade talks fall apart

According to multiple news sources, World Trade Organization representatives were unable to reach agreement on a broad free trade agreement that reports say would have helped boost the world economy by $1 trillion per year.

Hopes for an agreement in Geneva, prior to a meeting this week in Bali, Indonesia was the impetus for the discussions. Many of the 159 members of the WTO had expressed hopes of finding common ground before or during the meeting in Bali in hopes of reviving a 12-year effort to ease global trade rules.

One of the main topics discussed was a reduction in delays and inefficiencies at national borders, according to an AP story.

Reuters news service reported that “the fate of the agreement to streamline customs procedures and speed up global trade could now hang on whether the ministers can overcome remaining differences when they gather early next month at the WTO’s biennial conference in Bali.”

They also stated that The International Chamber of Commerce claimed the proposed relaxation of regulations could have created 21 million jobs, 18 million of them in developing countries. It would also revive confidence in the WTO as a forum for trade negotiations.

Reuters stated that WTO Director-General Roberto Azevedo has forced diplomats from the 159 member countries through a punishing 10 weeks of talks to try to agree a text for the ministers to rubber-stamp.

Azevedo said on Friday he hoped to clinch a deal over the weekend. But the final Geneva talks finished at 7 a.m. with no such agreement.