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World's Central Banks Team Up to Boost Sagging Markets


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 government.

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 sovereignty.

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.

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