The UN General Assembly meeting, usually an Irish Parliament of pointless rhetoric, and the G20 summit, with a not much better track record, has seen a couple of good announcements.
First the world seemed to unite at last (and all too briefly) around a nuclear non-proliferation/disarmament theme. Russia indicated that she might give support to, or at least not block, further sanctions against Iran on the nuclear issue. With Russia on board, rather than the old position of lending tacit support to Iran, then it may be possible finally to bring enough pressure to bear that Tehran could be coaxed into following Libya's lead and abandoning their weapons programme.
The old, "great" powers of the nuclear world have been taking action too to at least reduce the hypocrisy where we declare to the world that nukes are bad while stockpiling our own. Gordon Brown announced a unilateral 25% cut in at least Britain's delivery system. There are strategic implications and flotilla logistical problems that make the anchor faced matelot in me shudder, but those deserve their own post. Perhaps if we are serious about Britain leading a new wave of disarmament then the best method would be to follow the lead of South Africa or Ukraine and unilaterally disarm, but at least it is a move in the right direction. And it is clearly a part of a general trend, as US-Russia disarmament talks enter a second week, perhaps the two largest nuclear powers might be headed for a further step down.
In something of a surprise the week also brought encouraging signs of action on climate change, with China announcing moves finally to reduce emissions, with similar noises coming from the Indian sub-continent. If these laggards on the environmental stage can be brought up to speed then maybe we can at least eliminate the schoolyard "but china isn't doing it" objections to carbon limits.
And in a no-doubt happy but painful sounding story, a woman in Indonesia has given birth to a 19lb baby!
That' the good news, the normal