Australia elects prime minister who wants to ratify Kyoto Protocol
The Kyoto Protocol climate treaty may soon welcome a new industrialized country to the fold. Australia’s newly elected prime minister, Kevin Rudd, has announced he will act in the next few weeks on a campaign promise to have Australia ratify the Kyoto Protocol, which would make the United States the only industrialized country in the world not to agree to making mandatory reductions in greenhouse-gas emissions under the treaty. Showing just how eager the new prime minister is to get busy reducing greenhouse gases, Rudd met with government officials about ratifying Kyoto the day after his decisive electoral victory over the conservative outgoing Prime Minister John Howard on Saturday. Rudd has also promised a gradual withdrawal of Australia’s 550 troops from Iraq and has indicated he intends to formally apologize to Australia’s aborigines for the country’s policy of separating children from their families to speed the assimilation process from the 1930s to the 1970s. Not to be outdone, President Bush, um, pardoned two turkeys on Tuesday … before sitting down to eat a different one.