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In today's pages: G-20, climate change and Bagram

September 23, 2009 |  6:49 am

Bagram, Joe Wilson, UC walkout, G-20, Bruce Lisker, Tim Rutten, global warming, China

Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva weighs in today with an Op-Ed on the coming G-20 summit in Pittsburgh, expressing his concern that leaders of the developed world are celebrating the recovering economy too early. In particular, he writes, industrialized nations seem reluctant to "reform" the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, combat global warming and reduce trade barriers:

Such attitudes threaten the April summit's main achievement: the acceptance that the challenges of a globalized planet will not be met without the active involvement of all. World leaders' decisions must be made in a more transparent and representative manner. Developing countries did not cause today's major crises. They are, indeed, the main victims. Yet, more and more, they also have become part of the solution.

Elsewhere on the Op-Ed page, columnist Tim Rutten again uses Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) as the muse for a piece on political discourse, this time focusing on the origins of incivility. (It's Don Rickles, you hockey puck!) And novelist and longtime UC Riverside professor Susan Straight sees a teachable moment in the planned systemwide walkout by university workers and faculty Thursday.

On the editorial side of the fold, the Times board argues that China's new commitment to slow the growth of its carbon emissions makes the United States "the most environmentally irresponsible nation on Earth." We're No. 1! We're No. 1! The board also rebukes the Los Angeles district attorney's office for insisting that Bruce Lisker, whose murder conviction was thrown out by the federal courts for lack of evidence after he'd spent 26 years in prison, was guilty even as officials announced they would not put him on trial again. And although the detention center at Bagram air base in Afghanistan is on different legal footing from the one at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, the board contends that detainees seized on the battlefield and held at Bagram should be tried as terrorists "with all the protections and avenues of appeal available to criminal defendants."

-- Jon Healey

Cartoon by Matt Wuerker / Politico

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