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Highlights from the world's press

Compiled by Ravi Agrawal for CNN
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(CNN) -- Continuing the debate on the economic ramifications of climate change, The New York Times says the world's leading producer of greenhouse gases, the United States, is doing "scandalously little."

"Washington spends only $3 billion a year for all energy research and development. Of this, only a fraction -- $416 million, according to the Energy Department -- was spent last year on climate-friendly, renewable technologies like wind, solar power, cellulosic ethanol and hydrogen. By contrast, Washington spends $28 billion on medical research and $75 billion on military research... Mr. Bush and many in Congress remain steadfastly opposed -- still convinced, it appears, that calamity can be avoided on the cheap."

Iraq and the U.S. elections

With just four days to go now for the U.S. Congressional elections, The Washington Post says "the surest sign that Tuesday could be unpleasant for Republicans is the extent to which voters are simultaneously engaged and frustrated, anxious for change and very worried about Iraq. Republicans know this and they're trying to win by discrediting the alternatives...

"If that's the question voters decide to answer on Tuesday, Democrats will have a very good night. Watch carefully: Everything the Republicans do between now and Election Day will be designed to change the question."

Meanwhile The Guardian in the UK reports on a poll conducted internationally that reveals just how far the U.S.'s reputation has fallen among former supporters since the invasion of Iraq.

"Research shows that British voters see George Bush as a greater danger to world peace than either the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-il, or the Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Both countries were once cited by the U.S. president as part of an "axis of evil", but it is Mr Bush who now alarms voters in countries with traditionally strong links to the U.S."

North Korea

With North Korea set to rejoin six-party talks on its nuclear programs Japan's Asahi Shimbun says that "nothing has really changed in the structure of the crisis." "It is not clear what North Korea hopes to achieve by rejoining the talks. North Korea upped the ante with its July 5 flurry of ballistic missile tests and then went on to conduct a nuclear test. Its decision to resume talking very likely is only a maneuver to derive gains -- like economic aid. Such brinkmanship must not be tolerated ... No step should be taken to reward North Korea's brinkmanship or allow it to buy time for the development of nuclear arsenals."

P.W. Botha

With the death of former South African Prime Minister Pieter Willem Botha this week, the "bully-boy face of apartheid", the country's Mail & Guardian says "the hindsight of history will treat Botha much kinder than the quick appraisals following his death this week at his home in the Wilderness. For the image of a finger-wagging, self-righteous, smirking Groot Krokodil who defiantly refused to appear before the Truth and Reconciliation Commission to account for the excesses of his administration is still too vivid in our collective memory... P.W. Botha can hardly be described as a reformer. But he did start a process -- the end of which he could hardly foresee when he started scratching the ugly warts of petty apartheid."

Red, red wine

A recent study reported in Nature and conducted by researchers at Harvard Medical School and the National Institute on Aging shows that resveratrol, an extract that human beings ingest from red wine, has a "fountain-of-youth" effect on mice.

The Boston Globe says "before resveratrol becomes the answer to the epidemic of obesity and obesity-linked diseases, scientists must show it works similarly with people and that high levels have no damaging side effects. Sinclair has founded a company that is already testing the safety of its own enhanced formulation of resveratrol on human beings with diabetes. But if monkey and human experiments indicate that high levels of resveratrol are both safe and effective in countering the effects of aging, the Nature study could herald a new age in medicine."

The New York Times is similarly reserved in its optimism about the results: "The researchers believe they are on to something that may lead to longer and healthier lives in humans as well, and extend the lives of normal individuals, not just the obese. We wish them well in their continuing quest, though many a magic potion that looked good in animals has failed when tested in humans."

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