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
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
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
program plan to hold a meeting between top negotiators in about one
PAKISTAN - CHINA: Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari is expected to meet in Beijing
today with Chinese Hu Jintao and oversee the signing of
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
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.