"US Shutdown Threatens Hopes for Antarctic Reserve"

"WELLINGTON, New Zealand --  The U.S. government shutdown is threatening a long-awaited deal to create the world's largest marine sanctuary in Antarctica. Americans are among the most enthusiastic proponents, but they might not make it to the negotiating table.

The U.S., New Zealand and other countries have sought a sanctuary in the pristine waters of the Ross Sea for the past decade, and there are hopes that previous objectors Russia and Ukraine will agree to a new, smaller proposal when the nations that regulate Antarctic fishing meet next week in Hobart, Australia.

On Wednesday, Secretary of State John Kerry joined his counterparts from other nations in calling for the sanctuary to proceed. But the U.S. had apparently already suspended travel plans for its delegation. If they don't make it, the proposal probably will be put on hold until next year at least."

Nick Perry reports for the Associated Press October 16, 2013.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013