WORLD ECONOMY: U.S. President George Bush will make a statement this morning
before the U.S. markets open - a day after U.S. lawmakers defeated a
government-backed rescue plan for the troubled U.S. financial sector.
Monday's rejection in the U.S. House of Representatives for the 700
billion-dollar plan led to a record 778-point drop of the Dow Jones.
Most Asian markets fell sharply today in reaction to Monday's
congressional vote. Japan's Nikkei index lost four percent, falling to
its lowest mark in three years, while share prices were also lower in
Taipei, Seoul, Singapore and Sydney.
INDIA STAMPEDE: Indian authorities say nearly 150 people are dead after a stampede at a Hindu temple in western India today.
Authorities say scores of other people were injured in the incident at
the Chamunda temple in the town of Jodhpur. Thousands of worshippers
were crowded into the temple, inside a historic hillside fort, to mark
the start of a Hindu festival.
Officials say a panic broke out when some people slipped and fell on a
narrow path leading to the temple. The home minister of Rajasthan state
(Gulab Chand Kataria) says this led to a "massive crush" of people.
MALAYSIA - INDONESIA: Malaysian authorities say 12 Indonesians drowned when their boat capsized on its way from Malaysia to Indonesia.
Police suspect the boat, which sank near near Port Klang, was
overcrowded with more than 130 illegal workers returning to Indonesia
for the Eid-al Fitr celebrations ending the holy month of Ramadan.
Authorities say at least 112 people have been rescued, but the death
toll could rise, because it is unclear just how many people were on the
NOKOR NUCLEAR: U.S. nuclear negotiator Christopher Hill arrived in South Korea today for talks before going to Pyongyang in an attempt to save a
crumbling North Korean nuclear disarmament deal.
U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Monday the top U.S.
nuclear envoy will visit Pyongyang at the invitation of North Korean
officials. Rice said the United States hopes the invitation indicates
ready to discuss measures to verify North Korean claims about its
SOKOR - REFUGEES: South Korea is exploring the possibility of building refugee centers in
Thailand and other countries to house North Koreans fleeing their home
Rights groups say hundreds of North Koreans flee the Stalinist state
every year, usually crossing into China and then on to a third country
such as Thailand, packing detention facilities.
Today ruling party lawmaker Hong Jung-wook
released a presidential order dated in March that said the government
should consider establishing refugee camps, at least in Thailand.
LAOS - UNGA: In
his address at the General Debate of the 63 rd Session of the United
Nation General Assembly in New York yesterday, Mr. Thongloun Sisoulith, Deputy
Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Laos had talked about many
problems that the world are facing including development in globalization age,
economic difficulties from the sudden increase in oil and food prices and
global warming. The Lao Minister of Foreign Affairs also highlighted obstacles
that hampered economic development such as infrastructure, limits in access to
markets, capital and new technology for Laos and other landlocked developing
countries and emphasized that these countries needed international assistance
for their development goals.
BELARUS ELECTION: The United States has joined Europe in criticizing Sunday's
parliamentary elections in Belarus, noting particularly the country's
failure to keep promises for a transparent vote count.
A U.S. State Department spokesman said
Monday that international monitors encountered obstacles during the
voting process, and that there were discrepancies between the number of
voters observed and the number of votes counted, as well as outright
falsification of votes.
SOMALIA - PIRATES: Officials in east Africa say three pirates have been killed aboard a
hijacked Ukrainian vessel off the coast of Somalia, after gunfire broke
out among the pirates who seized the ship.
A spokesman for an African maritime organization says today fighting broke out between hardline and moderate pirates arguing about
what do with the ship. The pirates are demanding a 20
million-dollar ransom, and have threatened to kill the hostages if the
money is not paid.
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