WORLD ECONOMY: Asian financial markets are trading higher today on news that
prominent U.S. investor Warren Buffett is investing heavily in a major Wall
Street firm. Markets in Tokyo, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Seoul and Sydney all
showed modest gains.Buffett, one of the richest men in the United
States, announced Tuesday that his Berkshire Hathaway investment firm would buy
five-billion dollars of shares in Wall Street giant Goldman Sachs. The
investment is a major boost for an institution battered by the current meltdown
of the U.S financial sector.
US ECON - PROBE: The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has launched a probe of
the four U.S. financial institutions at the center of the crisis on Wall
Street.News reports Tuesday say the FBI is investigating potential fraud
by mortgage finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, insurer American
International Group (AIG), and investment bank Lehman Brothers.
The inquiries are focused on the institutions and their executives, and
are part of a wide-ranging fraud investigation by the FBI. The agency now has a
total of 26 investigations related to the near-collapse of the U.S. financial
UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY: Afghan President Hamid Karzai is to address the United Nations General Assembly
today, on the second day of the U.N.'s annual week-long
debate in New York.President Karzai is expected to discuss the
increasingly deadly U.S.-led war on al-Qaida-linked militants in his country.
On the sidelines of the General Assembly Tuesday, Mr. Karzai said (at
a meeting of the Asia Society) he supported the idea of forming a joint
military task force with the United Sates and Pakistan to secure both sides of
the Afghan-Pakistani border.
JAPAN - POLITICS: Lawmakers in Japan's lower house of parliament have confirmed Taro Aso as the
country's new prime minister.The 68-year-old veteran politician was
approved today to succeed Yasuo Fukuda, who quit abruptly
earlier this month. Mr. Aso was elected leader of the ruling Liberal Democratic
Party in a landslide on Monday. The upper house of parliament backed
Ichiro Ozawa, leader of the opposition Democratic Party of Japan, which controls
the upper house for the prime minister's post. But the decision of the lower
house, which is dominated by the LDP, carries the day under Japan's
CHINA - MILK: China has promised to fundamentally reform its quality control measures after
several countries banned Chinese dairy products because of fears of tainted milk
that has sickened thousands of children across China.Chinese Premier Wen
Jiabao told a gathering in New York on Tuesday that inspection standards for
Chinese food products and other exports will be strengthened. Mr. Wen said they
will be brought in line with international standards, as well as the needs of
importing countries. China vowed Monday to stop milk tainted with the
harmful chemical melamine from reaching export markets.
NOKOR NUCLEAR: The U.N. nuclear agency says North Korea plans to reintroduce nuclear material
into its partially dismantled Yongbyon reactor.A spokeswoman for the
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Geneva says officials from
the isolated regime have informed the agency that its scientists will refill the
reactor within a week.The spokeswoman says the IAEA's inspectors will no
longer have access to the Yongbyon plant. She says the agency's seals on the
plant have been removed, and its surveillance equipment has been dismantled.
US - BURMA: U.S. first lady Laura Bush has urged China, India and countries neighboring
Burma to push its military leaders to respect the rights of the Burmese
people.Mrs. Bush made the comment after she and President George Bush
met Tuesday with pro-democracy and human rights activists on the sidelines of
United Nations General Assembly in New York.One of the dissidents who
participated was a Buddhist monk (Kovita) who went into exile after last
year's pro-democracy protests in Burma.
PAKISTAN - VIOLENCE: Pakistan's military says it is investigating an incident involving an unmanned
spy plane that was recovered from a tribal region bordering
Afghanistan.Army spokesman Major Murad Khan said today
that inspection of the suspected U.S. drone indicates the aircraft was not
shot down. He said the drone was flying along the Pakistan-Afghan border
late Tuesday when it crashed because of technical reasons. Khan said the
wreckage fell on Pakistani territory, and that the military does not believe the
drone's activity violated Pakistani airspace.
SOMALIA: Witnesses in Somalia say at least 13 people have died in heavy fighting between
Somali insurgents and African Union forces in the capital,
Mogadishu.Witnesses say many of the casualties resulted from stray
mortar shells that landed in residential neighborhoods late Tuesday.They
say African Union forces responded to the insurgents with tanks and some of the
heaviest weaponry used in the nearly two-year-old battle for control of the
capital.The AU troops are in Somalia to help the Ethiopian-backed
government gain control.
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