The G-8 summit: What’s on the menu?

Marcus Brandt/AFP After an opening flurry of photo ops, the leaders of the G-8 have gotten down to business. Here’s a recap of the summit so far, plus a look at what’s ahead: Missions accomplished CLIMATE CHANGE: A rocky start to enviro-talks evolved into smiles and handshakes today. Germany (and others) wanted concrete targets for ...

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601409_erica1_05.jpg

Marcus Brandt/AFP

After an opening flurry of photo ops, the leaders of the G-8 have gotten down to business. Here's a recap of the summit so far, plus a look at what's ahead:

Missions accomplished

Marcus Brandt/AFP

After an opening flurry of photo ops, the leaders of the G-8 have gotten down to business. Here’s a recap of the summit so far, plus a look at what’s ahead:

Missions accomplished

CLIMATE CHANGE: A rocky start to enviro-talks evolved into smiles and handshakes today. Germany (and others) wanted concrete targets for reducing greenhouse emissions. The White House didn’t. But a new re-worded deal placates everyone. All parties agree to eventually agree—acquiescing to working within the UN to create a replacement for the Kyoto agreement by the end of 2009, one that will involve “substantial” cuts. Nothing like fuzzy language to make everyone happy.

MISSILE DEFENSE SHIELD: The frost has thawed, at least for now. The U.S. wanted to put a new defense shield system in Poland and the Czech Republic. Russia threatened to point nukes towards Europe in return. But after a one-on-one meeting on the sidelines of the summit, Putin says he’ll back off if the system is installed in Azerbaijan instead.

Still to come…

MONEY, MONEY, MONEY: Meetings tomorrow with heads of state from Brazil, China, India, Mexico, and South Africa. Expect talks on intellectual property rights, the U.S. current account deficit, and China’s ginormous surplus. 

AFRICA: With Bono and Bob Geldof hanging out in Heiligendamm, aid to Africa is sure to top tomorrow’s agenda. In fact, Bono’s so pissed off about the lack of progress since the 2005 Gleneagles Summit, he literally ripped off his rose-colored glasses in a CNN interview. “These people are not keeping their promises!” And we know that when Bono speaks, world leaders listen.

On the sidelines…

KOSOVO: To be or not to be (independent, that is)? Another hot potato toss between Russia and the West.

IRAN: With Putin and Hu Jintao both in Heiligendamm, maybe we can find out where Russia and China actually stand on the uranium thing.

DARFUR: A priority for Sarkozy and Blair. The French leader is looking for a brilliant start; the Brit for a grand exit.

Erica Alini is a Rome-based researcher for the Associated Press.

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