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Key Stock Indexes in Asia, Europe Down


WORLD ECONOMY: Major stock indexes in Asia and Europe are lower today, reflecting concerns that global efforts to rescue the world economy and get credit flowing again will not be enough to stop a recession. While Tokyo's Nikkei index closed up one percent, the Hang Seng in Hong Kong ended the day down five percent. Seoul's Kospi closed two percent lower. Major markets in Europe are trading more than two percent lower. Futures trading in U.S. stocks indicates a lower opening on Wall Street. Economists say the stalled credit market threatens to push the global economy into recession - defined as a significant decline in economic activity lasting lasting several months.

ASEAN - CRISIS FUND: Philippine President Gloria Arroyo says southeast Asian nations have agreed to set up an emergency fund to help the region deal with the current global financial crisis. Ms. Arroyo announced the plan today during a speech in Manila before local officials. The president says the agreement to create the fund was reached after a meeting of finance officials from the 10-member ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) regional bloc at the sidelines of last week's International Monetary Fund annual meeting in Washington. Ms. Arroyo says the fund will help the ASEAN members to recapitalize troubled financial institutions and purchase bad assets.

CAMBODIA - THAILAND: Cambodian officials say two soldiers have been killed and two wounded in clashes with Thailand today along a disputed stretch of the border between the two countries. Cambodian officials say the gunfight lasted for about an hour. It broke out near an ancient religious temple that is at the center of the dispute. Thailand's military says five of its troops were wounded in the fighting. Each side says the other fired first. It was not immediately clear how many soldiers were involved. Earlier today, a Thai air force official said Thai fighter planes have been put on standby to provide support for troops stationed along the border. (News Updates)

VIETNAM - JOURNALISTS: A Vietnamese journalist has been sentenced to two years in prison for exposing a major government corruption scandal. A court in the capital city of Hanoi today convicted Nguyen Viet Chen, a journalist with the "Thanh Nien" newspaper on charges of abusing democratic freedoms and infringing on the interests of the state. A second journalist who also reported on the scandal, Nguyen Van Hai of the with the "Tuoi Tre" newspaper, was given a two-year re-education sentence, but will not be jailed. He had pleaded guilty in the case, admitting to unintentionally reporting false information.

NOKOR - NUCLEAR: United Nations inspectors have resumed monitoring activities at North Korea's main nuclear complex, as Pyongyang begins to reverse moves to re-activate the facility. The U.S. State Department said Tuesday that International Atomic Energy Agency monitors have started to re-apply seals on shut-down equipment at the Yongbyon complex. A State Department spokesman said North Korea is reversing steps it made towards restarting the reactor. He said the six countries engaged in talks to end Pyongyang's nuclear program plan to hold a meeting between top negotiators in about one week.

PAKISTAN - CHINA: Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari is expected to meet in Beijing today with Chinese Hu Jintao and oversee the signing of several agreements. Mr. Zardari arrived in the Chinese capital Tuesday for a four day visit that is also expected to focus on nuclear energy cooperation. A Chinese foreign ministry spokesman said Tuesday the two countries share sound cooperation in the field of nuclear energy. He added that China is ready to continue such cooperation with Pakistan. But he did not confirm that Mr. Hu and Premier Wen Jiabao will discuss a possible civil nuclear power deal with Mr. Zardari.

AFGHANISTAN VIOLENCE: Afghan officials say at least 18 Taliban militants were killed in the second attack this week on a key southern provincial capital. They say the militants launched the attack late Tuesday on Lashkar Gah in Helmand province. Gunmen also killed six police officers at a checkpoint north of the city. Earlier Tuesday, the United Nations' top envoy in Afghanistan said the Taliban insurgency has spread beyond the country's south and east, leading to more attacks on civilians and aid workers. Kai Eide told the U.N. Security CouncilAfghanistan saw the highest number of attacks in July and August of this year, since 2002.

US POLITICS: U.S. presidential candidates John McCain and Barack Obama are preparing for their third and last debate today, as a new poll indicates that Democrat Obama has a double-digit lead over Republican McCain. A New York Times-CBS News poll released Tuesday finds Obama favored by 53 percent of those surveyed, while 39 percent support McCain. A Los Angeles Times-Bloomberg poll of about 15-hundred people indicates that 50 percent support Obama and 41 percent back McCain. And a Washington Post-ABC News poll finds that Obama's lead has increased dramatically in four key battleground states -- Colorado, Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, The polls have a three percent margin of error.

Listen to our World News for details.

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