PAKISTAN-US: The U.S. military is denying reports that Pakistani soldiers fired at
two U.S. helicopters for allegedly violating Pakistani airspace.
Lieutenant Nathan Perry today (Monday) told VOA that U.S. helicopters did not enter Pakistan and that there was no operation going on in the border area that would cross into Pakistan.
Local officials in Pakistan's northern tribal region said the incident happened late Sunday when the helicopters crossed into Pakistan's North Waziristan district.
The Pakistani army has so far not commented on the alleged incident.
WORLD ECONOMY: Stock prices in Asia closed higher (today/Monday) in an
apparent vote of confidence for the Bush administration's request to
U.S. Congress for a 700 billion-dollar financial intervention plan.
Major stock indexes in Japan and Hong Kong were up about one-and-a-half percent, while Shanghai posted gains of nearly eight percent. Taiwan was up nearly two-and-a-half percent. The increases follow news of a government bailout in the United States, which instilled investor confidence in global financial markets.
CHINA MILK: China's top quality regulator, Li Changjiang, has stepped down over the
country's growing tainted milk scandal that has already hospitalized
53-thousand children and killed four.
China's state-run Xinhua news agency says China's cabinet, the State Council, approved the resignation today (Monday) as concerns over the scandal grow.
Earlier today, China's Health Ministry said in a statement that nearly 13-thousand children remain hospitalized from drinking tainted milk, with 104 in critical condition.
China says about 80 percent of the children affected are no more than two years old.
JAPAN POL : Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party elected Taro Aso as its new leader today (Monday), to succeed Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda who made an abrupt decision to step down earlier this month.
The 68-year-old outspoken nationalist was selected over four competitors to win what was his fourth attempt at party leadership.
The new LDP leader is almost certain to be elected prime minister Wednesday because of the party's majority in the powerful lower house of parliament.
THAILAND-US: A criminal court in Thailand has resumed extradition proceedings
against alleged Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout, who has been indicted
on four terrorism-related charges in the United States.
The hearing was postponed in late August because of complications with Bout's defense team in Bangkok.
The extradition was requested by the United States, which has indicted Bout on charges of attempted sales of weapons to Colombian rebels, conspiracy to kill Americans and conspiracy to acquire and use an anti-aircraft missile. The charges could result in a sentence of life in prison.