WORLD ECONOMY: The U.S. government's planned 700 billion-dollar bailout of the country's
financial industry has so far failed to reassure global
investors.European markets were lower in midday trading today, while Asian stocks closed mostly lower. Investors in Hong Kong
and Australia echoed the concerns of their American counterparts -- that the
proposed U.S financial rescue plan will not be enough to revive the world's
biggest economy. Japan's markets are closed for a holiday.
UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY: U.S. President George Bush will discuss the U.S. economic crisis in his final
address to the United Nations today.White House
spokeswoman Dana Perino told reporters Monday the president will tell world
leaders in New York the administration is taking "bold, aggressive, decisive
action" to bolster the U.S. financial markets, which have been rocked by a
handful of failures and government bailouts of key institutions. Mr.
Bush is negotiating with congressional lawmakers over a 700 billion-dollar
rescue plan for the U.S. financial sector.
FINLAND SCHOOL SHOOTING: Authorities in Finland say nine people are dead after a gunman opened fire at a
vocational school today.The shooting took place in the
western town of Kauhajoki, more than 300 kilometers northwest of the capital of
Helsinki. Authorities believe several other people have been wounded.
Authorities now say the gunman was wounded after turning the gun on
himself. Earlier reports said the suspect, who may have been a student, had
PAKISTAN VIOLENCE: Pakistan's military says its soldiers have killed some 60 suspected militants in
two days of fighting in the northwest part of the country.Officials say
more than 50 insurgents and one soldier were killed in the fighting outside
Peshawar Monday.In a separate
incident, security officials said Pakistani soldiers killed at least 10
suspected militants today in the Bajur area near the Afghan
border.Officials said the battle was part of the continuing military
offensive against suspected al-Qaida-linked militants in the region.
US - PAK - AFGHAN: America's top military officer, Admiral Michael Mullen, says the most serious
threat for the next U.S. president will come from the increasingly violent
border region between Afghanistan and Pakistan.The Chairman of the Joint
Chiefs of Staff said Monday that the United States needs to focus its resources
there in order to pressure al-Qaida's leadership, which is suspected to be based
in the region.The Pakistani government has criticized a series of
suspected U.S. missile strikes and a ground attack against militant targets on
Pakistan's side of the border.
BURMA: Burma's military leaders have released journalist Win Tin, the country's
longest-serving political prisoner, after he spent 19 years in
prison.Shortly after his release today from Insein
Prison in (the main city of) Rangoon,the ailing 78-year old told
a group of reporters and others that he would continue his fight until the
emergence of democracy in Burma.Win Tin was arrested in 1989 and
sentenced to 20 years in jail for allegedly writing anti-government
propaganda.His release comes as Burma also announced today the
release of nine thousand and two prisoners for good behavior.
US - CHINA RELIGION: A recent U.S. State Department report found that religious freedom in Asia is
worsening, especially in China.The 2008 Report on International
Religious Freedom criticizes Beijing for repression in Tibet following the
protests in March, with hundreds of arrests and jail sentences, and monks
expelled from monasteries.The report also condemns frequent arrests and
imprisonment of the Islamic Uighur population of Xinjiang for possessing
unauthorized religious texts or participating in religious activities.
NOKOR NUCLEAR: U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is set to hold talks this week with
members of the six-party talks on North Korean denuclearization, after
Pyongyang's latest announcement about restarting a partially-disabled nuclear
reactor.Rice has already held talks with South Korean Foreign Minister
Yu Myung-Hwan and is slated to meet with her Chinese counterpart, Yang Jiechi,
on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly in New York.
SAF POLITICS: An African National Congress spokesman says South
Africa's Deputy President Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka has resigned. Her
resignation announced today follows the announcement that South
African President Thabo Mbeki has agreed to resign from office, after the ruling
ANC issued a call for him to do so. Reports from South Africa say the
ANC will name deputy party chief Kgalema Motlanthe as the country's caretaker
leader to replace Mr. Mbeki.
Listen to our World News for details.