WORLD ECONOMY: European and Asian markets are slumping today as the latest
sell-off on Wall Street is adding to investors' fears of a severe
global recession. Europe's key markets in London, Frankfurt and France
were down more
than five percent at the start of their trading sessions, hours after
the worst loss in two decades for Japan's Nikkei index. The Nikkei
plunged more than 11-percent, on another day of steep losses
for Asian markets. Share prices in South Korea were nearly 10 percent
lower , while the Hang Seng in Hong Kong lost nearly five percent at
ASEAN - CRISIS FUND: The World Bank says it will help Asian nations deal with the global
financial crisis, but has ruled out the immediate possibility of
setting up an emergency fund to help the region. In a statement
Wednesday, the World Bank's East Asia and Pacific
regional vice president, Jim Adams, said the bank did not expect to
create such a fund, and urged Asian economies to be prepared to handle
any effects of the financial turmoil.
He said the bank was working with members of ASEAN (Association of
Southeast Asian Nations) to develop a coordinated response to the
US POLITICS: Republican John McCain and Democrat Barack Obama clashed over campaign
tactics and the economic crisis in their third and final U.S.
U.S. financial troubles dominated the start of the 90-minute debate
Wednesday night (at Hofstra University) in New York. McCain took an
aggressive approach as he tries to come back with Obama leading in
The Republican senator from Arizona accused Obama of waging "class
warfare" with his proposals to increase taxes on wealthier Americans.
He also rejected Obama's attempts to link him to the unpopular
incumbent president, saying "I am not President (George) Bush."
US - VOTER FRAUD: A U.S. federal appeals court has ordered Ohio's top elections official
to establish a system to verify thousands of newly registered voters by
The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that
Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner must use government records to
check for voter registration fraud. The court also ordered Brunner to
make the information available to Ohio's 88 county (local) election
Ohio's Republican Party chairman (Bob Bennett) had accused Brunner, a
Democrat, of concealing fraudulent voter registrations in the key
THAILAND - CAMBODIA: Thailand and Cambodia have agreed to joint patrols along disputed
stretches of their border after two Cambodian soldiers were killed
Wednesday in a firefight.
Following a meeting today between the two
sides, Thailand's northeastern army commander Lieutenant General
Wiboonsak Neeparn said the patrols were being introduced to avoid
similar incidents in the future.
On Wednesday, two Cambodian soldiers were killed and at least 10 soldiers from both sides were wounded during the brief clash.
It was not immediately clear what would be done to help secure the
release of 10 Thai troops who are reportedly being held in Cambodia.
INDIA - US NUCLEAR: U.S. officials have announced the largest-ever civil nuclear trade
mission to India, a week after the United States lifted its 34-year ban
on such trade with India.
U.S. Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez says the mission is aimed at
exploring business opportunities in India's clean energy market.
Gutierrez made the comments Wednesday during a U.S.-India Business
Council summit. The Council, representing 280 of the largest U.S.
companies investing in India, will lead the delegation there in
TURKEY - KURDS: Turkey's military says five Turkish soldiers and five Kurdish rebels
have been killed in clashes near the country's southeastern border with
Iraq and Iran.
The military says four soldiers were killed late Wednesday when rebels
from the Kurdistan Workers Party, or PKK, opened fire on them in the
province of Hakkari.
A statement today from the Turkish military says another
soldier was killed and 15 others injured when a helicopter crashed near
It says five Kurdish rebels were killed in separate clashes near the
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