WORLD ECONOMY: The world's biggest central banks are joining forces to keep the global economy
afloat, as the fallout continues over the worsening U.S. economy.The
U.S. Federal Reserve says it will auction up to 180 billion dollars to the
markets in a coordinated action with central banks in Canada, Britian, Japan,
Switzerland, and the European Central Bank. The move comes as share
prices on Asian stock markets are plunging today. Tokyo's Nikkei index closed
more than two percent lower, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng index was flat, losing
just five points at the close.
CHINA - MILK: Chinese authorities say four people have now died after drinking contaminated
infant formula, as more people have been detained in the scandal.The
latest fatality occurred in the remote western region of Xinjiang. Officials
have not said whether the newest victim was a baby, as were the first three
fatalities. More than six-thousand babies across China were sickened
when they drank formula that contained the chemical melamine. It is believed the
manufacturer used the chemical to give watered-down milk the appearance of
having high protein levels.
JAPAN POLITICS: Japanese media say the country's ruling party has agreed to dissolve the lower
house of parliament and call for snap elections in October.The "Asahi"
daily newspaper reports parliament will likely be dissolved on
October third and that elections will be held on October 26th.The
Liberal Democratic Party, or LDP, is set to pick its new leader on Monday, after
Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda made an abrupt decision to step down earlier this
month. Mr. Fukuda faced poor approval ratings and an inability to break
a political gridlock with the opposition Democratic Party of Japan.
YEMEN - US - ATTACK: Authorities in Yemen have arrested at least 25 people with suspected links to
al-Qaida in connection to Wednesday's attack on the U.S. Embassy in the Yemeni
capital, Sanaa.The assault killed six Yemeni security personnel and four
bystanders, including an 18-year old American woman and the Yemeni man she
recently married. Six attackers also were killed.Officials say the
militants used car bombs, grenades and automatic weapons in the attack. Yemeni
guards and police fired back, preventing the attackers from breaching the
embassy's security walls.
ISRAEL - POLITICS: Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni has narrowly won the ruling Kadima party's
leadership, giving her a chance to become the country's first female prime
minister in more than three decades.In her acceptance speech today, Livni vowed to start work immediately on forming a new
coalition government.The 50-year-old Livni is replacing scandal-plagued
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert as party leader.Mr. Olmert is
expected to resign in the coming days to fight corruption allegations. He will
remain a caretaker prime minister while Livni tries to form a coalition
IRAQ: The U.S. military says one its helicopters has crashed in southern Iraq, killing
seven American soldiers.The military says the Chinook aircraft experienced what it calls a "hard landing" early today west of Basra. It says the incident is under
investigation.The U.S. military says another two American soldiers died
of non-combat related causes in Iraq on Wednesday.Also Wednesday, a
series of bombings in Baghdad killed 11 people and wounded more than 30 others.
In the deadliest attack, Iraqi officials said two car bombs went off in the west
of the city, killing eight people.
PAKISTAN: Pakistan says Washington did not warn it about a suspected U.S. missile strike
that took place hours after the top U.S. military officer pledged to respect
Pakistan's sovereignty. Pakistani officials said Wednesday that an unmanned U.S.
aircraft, or drone, appeared to have fired missiles at a militant compound in
the South Waziristan tribal region, bordering Afghanistan. Authorities said at
least six people were killed.U.S. officials have not commented on the
incident.Hours earlier, the chairman of the U.S. joint chiefs of staff,
Admiral Mike Mullen, emphasized Washington's commitment to respect Pakistan's
SUDAN - DARFUR: The new United Nations peacekeeping chief says only half of the 26-thousand
peacekeepers assigned to Sudan's Darfur region will be deployed by the end of
the year.The U.N.'s Alain Le Roy said Wednesday that Secretary-General
Ban Ki-moon's previous assessment that 80 percent of the peacekeepers would be
on the ground was a bit "optimistic."Speaking at his first press
conference since taking the post, Le Roy said he expected an additional
three-thousand soldiers and police, mostly from Ethiopia and Egypt, to join the
nearly 10-thousand personnel in Sudan by year's end.
SOMALIA - PIRACY: Maritime officials say a Greek carrier has become the latest vessel to fall prey
to pirates operating in waters off the African nation of Somalia.Noel
Choong, head of the International Maritime Bureau in Kuala Lumpur, says the ship
was heading to Kenya today with 25 crew members aboard when it
was hijacked in the Gulf of Aden. The hijacking of the Greek carrier
brings to 55 the number of ships that have been attacked off the coast of
Somalia this year. Somali pirates are now believed to be holding at least 11
ships and their crews hostage.
Listen to our World News for details.