World and Nation

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Climate change talks begin with modest expectations

WASHINGTON — Global talks on climate change opened in Cancun, Mexico, on Monday with the toughest issues unresolved and little expectation of a breakthrough on shaping an international treaty to curb emissions of the heat-trapping gases linked to global warming.

But some who attended the meetings, sponsored by the United Nations, expressed muted hope that small steps could be made on a decades-long journey to reduce the planetary threat of rising global temperatures.

This year’s talks come at a low point for global climate diplomacy. Last year, more than 100 heads of state gathered with hopes of fashioning a binding treaty to address global warming. A year later, midlevel envoys are trickling into a Mexican resort with hopes, at best, of averting disaster.

Still, leaders expressed belief that the U.N. remained the best, if not the only, place to address a problem that will require a global solution.

Comcast fee ignites fight over videos on internet

Level 3 Communications, a central partner in the Netflix online movie service, accused Comcast on Monday of charging a new fee that puts Internet video companies at a competitive disadvantage.

Level 3, which delivers the Netflix streams of movies, said Comcast had erected a tollbooth that “threatens the open Internet,” and indicated that it would seek government action on the issue.

Comcast quickly denied that the clash had anything to do with network neutrality, instead calling it “a simple commercial dispute.”

The clash highlighted the growing importance of Internet video delivery — an area that some people say needs to be monitored more closely by government regulators. Net neutrality, which posits that Internet traffic should be free of any interference from network operators like Comcast, is thought to be on the December agenda of the Federal Communications Commission.

Google said to be bidding for Groupon, site for daily deals

Google is prepared to pay $5 billion to $6 billion for Groupon, the daily deals site, people familiar with the deal said Monday.

A deal could be struck as soon as this week, these people said, cautioning that the talks still could fall apart.

At that price, Groupon would be the largest acquisition ever for Google. The deal would make Google the market leader in the fast-growing arena of locally tailored discounts.