WORLD ECONOMY: World stocks rallied in early trading today (Monday) on news of more European help for troubled banks. Hong Kong's Heng Seng was up ten percent, while top European exchanges rose more than five percent in early trading. The British government says sit will make more than 63-billion dollars available to three major banks. The U.S. Federal Reserve, the European Central Bank, the Bank of England and the Swiss central bank, have also said they will offer commercial banks unlimited loans at a fixed interest rate. Sunday, French President Nicolas Sarkozy announced that 16 European governments agreed on a plan for banks to lend money to each other. Also Sunday, World Bank and International Monetary Fund officials meeting in Washington agreed to protect poor and vulnerable countries during the financial crisis.
US POLITICS: Two new public opinion polls indicate U.S. Democratic presidential
candidate Barack Obama has a six-point lead over Republican challenger
John McCain with three weeks until election day. Both polls (one by Reuters, C-Span and Zogby, and the other by Rasmussen Reports) are in line with other recent surveys showing Obama with a lead.
McCain met with a group of his campaign workers Sunday just outside Washington in Virginia, vowing a comeback and promising to "whip" (soundly defeat) Obama in their last televised debate Wednesday. Obama went door-to-door Sunday in a neighborhood in the town of Holland, Ohio (in the Midwestern U.S.) to talk with residents about the economy.
PHILIPPINES-POLITICS: Political opponents of Philippine President Gloria Arroyo have filed a new impeachment complaint against the president. Mrs. Arroyo's government predicts it will fail, just as three previous attempts have.
The 97-page complaint filed today (Monday) with the House of Representatives includes allegations of corruption and human rights violations contained in previous complaints.
Some of the complainants have admitted that the opposition does not have enough support in the House to send the complaint to the Senate.
BURMA BUS EXPLOSION: Authorities in Burma say a bus explosion in the main city of Rangoon has killed seven people and injured one other person. The blast occurred early Sunday morning as the bus headed north through the city. Officials say an initial investigation into the explosion has revealed that problems with the vehicle's natural gas tank triggered the blast. Officials have ruled out the possibility that it was a terrorist attack.
VIETNAM - AUSTRALIA: Vietnam's prime minister says his country will grant clemency to two Australians sentenced to death for drug trafficking. Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung said after meeting with Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd in Canberra today (Monday), that Vietnam had decided to grant clemency to the pair on humanitarian grounds.
Jasmine Luong of Sydney was sentenced to death by firing squad earlier this year. She was arrested as she tried to board a flight home with more than a kilogram of heroin in her possession. Another Australian, Nguyen Hong Viet, was sentenced to death in September of last year after being caught with nearly a kilogram of heroin hidden in his clothes. Vietnam has some of the world's toughest drug laws, but rarely executes foreigners because of international pressure.
ZIMBABWE-POLITICS: Former South African President Thabo Mbeki heads to Zimbabwe today (Monday) to try to save a power-sharing deal between the country's main parties. The deal was jeopardized on Saturday when President Robert Mugabe
assigned control of key ministries, including defense, home affairs and
foreign affairs, to his own ZANU-PF party.
The opposition Movement for Democratic Change says there has been no agreement on the ministries. On Sunday, MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai threatened to pull out of the power-sharing deal if Mr. Mugabe continues to act unilaterally.
SAUDI - TALLEST BUILDING: A company owned by Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal says it aims to
build the world's tallest building in the Red Sea city of Jeddah. The firm -- Kingdom Holding Company -- said Sunday the Kingdom Tower
will be more than one kilometer tall and will be part of a larger
project called Kingdom City that will cost almost 27 billion dollars.
The project will span 23 million square meters and will include multi-purpose facilities, including luxury homes, hotels, entertainment and retail. Kingdom City is expected to house 80-thousand residents and accommodate 250-thousand visitors.
The United Arab Emirates has also said it will build a building over a kilometer high in the city of Dubai.
NOBEL - ECONOMICS: U.S. economist Paul Krugman has won the 2008 Nobel prize for economics. The Royal Swedish Academy Monday said the award recognizes Krugman's
formulation of a new theory to answer questions driving world-wide
Krugman is a professor at Princeton University in New Jersey and writes a regular column for "The New York Times" newspaper. He will collect his one-point-four million dollar prize in Sweden on December 10th.
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