World Stocks: Stock markets across Asia closed sharply higher today (Monday), as investors regained confidence after a dramatic dip last week.
Tokyo (Nikkei) closed three percent higher, while Shanghai jumped five percent to a record close. In Hong Kong, (Hang Seng) share prices soared nearly six percent.
The trend continued in Seoul, Taipei and in smaller markets across the region.
European shares also began the day on a high note. London's top share index has climbed nearly two percent in morning trade, while other key markets are also showing gains.
The markets are reacting positively to the U.S. Federal Reserve's reduction Friday in the interest rate it charges large commercial banks on short-term loans.
Iraq: Iraqi officials say a roadside bomb has killed the governor of the southern Shi'ite majority province of Muthanna.
They say at least three of Mohammed Ali al-Hassani's bodyguards were wounded in today's (Monday's) blast. Hassani was a member of Iraq's largest Shi'ite political party, the Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council. Another provincial governor and member of the party was assassinated earlier this month.
In other developments today (Monday), Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki arrived in Syria for a three-day visit aimed at improving the security situation in Iraq, and increasing bilateral economic ties.
Also, Iran's Foreign Ministry says President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has accepted Mr. Maliki's invitation to visit Iraq. Tehran says no date has been set for the trip.
French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner, on his second day in Baghdad, met with Iraqi President Jalal Talabani today (Monday).
Pakistan Violence: Officials in Pakistan say a suicide bomber has killed at least three soldiers in North West Frontier province.
Authorities say the attacker rammed an explosives-laden car into a military checkpoint today (Monday), near the town of Thal.
At least 12 other people were wounded by the explosion.
On Sunday, Pakistani army helicopters fired on two militant hideouts near the Afghan border, killing 15 pro-Taleban militants.
An army spokesman (Major General Waheed Arshad) says militants were using the two compounds to stage attacks in the North Waziristan tribal region.
Local officials say two women and two children were killed when their home was bombed in the air raid.
In other news, militants have agreed to release 15 soldiers kidnapped in South Waziristan August 9th.
Afghanistan – Germany: Afghan government officials say police have freed a German woman held hostage by gunmen who seized her at a Kabul restaurant.
Interior Ministry officials say police freed the woman and arrested the kidnappers in a raid in the capital early today (Monday), not far from where she was abducted Saturday.
In Berlin, (German) Foreign Ministry officials confirmed the kidnapped aid worker arrived safely at the German Embassy in Kabul.
Today's rescue operation came hours after a video of the woman was broadcast by an Afghan television station. Identifying herself as Christina Meier, the woman said she was unharmed.
Afghan authorities have said they do not believe her kidnappers were Taleban militants, but rather members of a criminal gang.
Afghanistan Violence: An Afghan official says at least 10 Taleban fighters were killed in an unsuccessful attack on a military compound in southern Afghanistan.
The chief of Sangin district (, Ezatullah Khanin, ) in the southern province of Helmand says Afghan government troops successfully defended their base in a two-hour battle Sunday night.
He said no Afghan government troops were hurt in the fighting, four insurgents were wounded and the remaining Taleban attackers fled the scene.
Listen to our World News for details.