WORLD ECONOMY: Oil prices have fallen below 90 dollars a barrel - an eight month low -
on speculation that the spreading credit crisis will further slow world
economies. Markets in Europe and Asia are also sharply lower today (Monday),
as investors seem not convinced that a 700 billion-dollar financial
rescue plan approved Friday in the United States will do much to avoid
a global economic crisis.
European markets are down about five percent in morning trading. Russia's leading stock exchange temporarily halted trading after plunging more than 15 percent. Markets in Tokyo, Taipei and South Korea closed down more than four percent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng finished almost five per cent lower. Japan's Nikkei index has fallen to a four-year low.
KYRGYZSTAN QUAKE: An emergency official says an earthquake in southern Kyrgyzstan
completely destroyed the village of Nura, killing at least 60 residents
and injuring more than 100. The Emergency situations minister says search and rescue operations are under way.
The U.S. Geological Survey measured the quake at six-point-six magnitude. The quake struck Sunday night and was centered 65 kilometers southeast of Sary-Tash. Kyrgyzstan's president (Kurmanbek Bakiyev) is expected Tuesday to survey the devastation in the remote village near the country's mountainous border with China.
SRI LANKA: Sri Lanka police say a suicide bomber killed an opposition leader and at least 26 other people today (Monday) in the north-central town of Anuradhapura. About 80 others were wounded. Police say the bomber attacked during a ceremony to open the new office of the main opposition United National Party. UNP's leader, former army general Janaka Perera, and his wife were among the dead.
US POLITICS: U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama dismissed an attack
on his character Sunday, saying his Republican opponent is attempting
to distract U.S. voters from the country's financial crisis. At a rally in (the southeastern U.S. state of) North
Carolina, Obama charged that Arizona Senator John McCain and his
operatives are using personal smears because they are out of touch, out
of ideas and running out of time.
On Saturday Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin launched a new effort to portray Obama as unacceptable for American voters -- accusing him of being friendly with "terrorists."
Palin -- the governor of Alaska -- based her charge Saturday on a newspaper story about Senator Obama's relationship with William Ayers, now a college professor.
Forty years ago, Ayers helped found the Weather Underground, a group opposed to the Vietnam War. The group claimed responsibility for bombings of U.S. government buildings. In the 1990s, Obama and Ayers served together on a Chicago schools project and on a charitable board. The Democratic senator has denounced Ayers' radical activities.
CHINA TAINTED MILK: Chinese authorities have detained six people suspected of producing and
selling a toxic industrial chemical that has been found in milk and
Chinese food products around the world. The official Xinhua news agency says the six were arrested in the
capital of Inner Mongolia where authorities are investigating major
dairy producers, Yili and Mengniu.
The northern region of Inner Mongolia is a major center of China's dairy industry. Officials in Hong Kong say they have found high levels of melamine in two products made by British candy maker Cadbury at its Beijing factory.
CALIFORNIA BUS CRASH: Police in the western U.S. state of California say at least 10 people
have been killed and more than 30 others injured in a bus accident. Officials say the chartered bus ran off a rural road and overturned
late Sunday near the town of Williams, 100 kilometers north of the
state capital, Sacramento.
A police dispatcher said emergency workers were having trouble communicating with the passengers because many were of Laotian descent. The bus was traveling from Sacramento to the Colusa Casino Resort when it veered off the road into a ditch. Television footage showed the bus covered in mud with a crumpled roof and broken windows.
Listen to our World News for further details in Lao.