It is rather unusual, if not unimaginable, to expect the world's mightiest and the richest nation face the prospect of isolation. Yet that is what the United States of America, the sole super power of the world, faced at the two-week conference on climate in the holiday island of Bali in mid-December. The fear of becoming a pariah nation forced the US delegation at Bali to fall in line with the wishes of the majority of the 190 nations that had assembled in the hope of preparing the roadmap for a new climate treaty after the Kyoto protocol ends in 2012.

In recent months, China has taken center stage in the international debate over global warming. It has surpassed the United States as the world's largest source of greenhouse gases, and it became developing nations' diplomatic champion at the recent United Nations climate negotiations in Bali. Now China may become the target of a full-fledged trade war that could destroy

World's breadbasket faces food crisis Food Shortages, An Unthinkable Phenomenon In US, Have Hit Many Parts Of The Country Mountain View (California): Many parts of America, long considered the breadbasket of the world, are now confronting a once unthinkable phenomenon: food rationing. Major retailers in New York, in areas of New England, and on the West Coast are limiting purchases of flour, rice, and cooking oil as demand outstrips supply. There are also anecdotal reports that some consumers are hoarding grain stocks, the New York Sun reported on Monday.

Washington: Famed astrophysicist Stephen Hawking has been thinking a lot about the cosmic question, "Are we alone?' The answer is probably not, he says. If there is life elsewhere in the universe, Hawking asks why haven't we stumbled onto some alien broadcasts in space, maybe something like "alien quiz shows?' Hawking's comments were part of a lecture at George Washington University on Monday in honor of Nasa's 50th anniversary. He theorized that there are possible answers to whether there is extraterrestrial life.

FDA Officials Say They Have Found A Clear Link Between Tainted Heparin And 81 Deaths In US Gardiner Harris Washington: A contaminated blood thinner from China has been found in drug supplies in 11 countries, and federal officials said Monday they had discovered a clear link between the contaminant and severe reactions now associated with 81 deaths in the United States.

Researchers at the Missouri University of Science and Technology in the US are working to develop environmentally friendly plastics, which can literally disappear within four months of being discarded. What the research team is constructing is a new breed of biodegradable and bioavailable plastics in an effort to reduce the tonnes of plastic waste that ends up in America's landfills each year. Bioavailable plastics contain substances that can be absorbed by living systems during their normal physiological functions.

INDIA has called for

Kleiner Perkins is joining hands with another clean technology-focused venture capital firm and a Norwegian company to bring electric cars to the United States, signalling a Silicon Valley push to make American driving greener. Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Boston-based RockPort Capital Partners and electric car maker Think Global will create a new Menlo Park, California-based company called Think North America. The deal was announced on Monday at the Fortune Brainstorm Green Conference in Pasadena, California.

- A coalition of western US states and Canadian provinces eyeing a regional carbon credit trading market picked up an eastern member on Friday when Quebec said it would join. Premier Jean Charest said Quebec had joined the Western Climate Initiative while he was meeting at Yale University with US governors who have bypassed the Bush administration to set tough emissions limits on greenhouse gases. Early last year, the WCI set a group-wide greenhouse gas emissions target of 15 percent below 2005 levels by 2020.

On average, 70 percent of respondents in 15 countries and the Palestinian territories said they thought oil supplies had peaked. Only 22 percent of the nearly 15,000 respondents in nations ranging from China to Mexico believed enough new oil would be found to keep it a primary fuel source. "What's most striking is there's such a widespread consensus around the world that oil is running out and governments need to make a real effort to find new sources of energy," said Steven Kull, director of, a global research organization that conducted the poll.