AFGHANISTAN: Afghanistan's Defense Ministry says international troops have
mistakenly killed nine Afghan soldiers and wounded three others in an
air strike in the east of the country.
Ministry officials say the strike hit an army checkpoint in Khost early
today. The ministry condemned the attack, warning it could
weaken the moral of Afghan security forces.
An American military statement says U.S.-led coalition forces were
returning from an operation when they were involved in fighting that
may have killed and injured Afghan soldiers.
IRAQ: U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates is warning of dramatic consequences
if an accord governing the future U.S. troop presence in Iraq is not
Gates told reporters on Tuesday that time is running out for the
approval of a Status of Forces Agreement. He said if there is no deal,
U.S. troops would have to, in his words, "stop doing anything" when the
United Nations authorization expires at the end of the year.
U.S. troops still provide much of the security for the Iraqi people.
INDIA - MOON MISSION: India has successfully launched its first unmanned mission to the moon.
Indian officials say the Chandrayaan-One spacecraft
blasted off from a launch pad in Sriharikota near the southeastern city
of Chennai early today.
The head of the Indian Space Research Organization
called the launch the start of a "remarkable journey." He told
reporters the mission is so far going according to plan, as scientists
applauded the televised liftoff.
Indian officials say the Chandrayaan-One's two-year mission is to
provide a detailed map not only of the moon's surface, but also what
WORLD ECONOMY: Asian stocks plunged today on investor fears that weak corporate earnings could still bring on a global recession.
Tokyo's Nikkei index tumbled nearly seven percent while the Hang Seng
in Hong Kong and the Kospi index in Seoul both closed down more than
Sydney fell more than three percent and key European indexes also opened lower.
Today's Asian losses came after Tuesday's sharp drop in U.S. markets.
Meanwhile, the White House says President George Bush has no plans for
a second economic stimulus package, despite suggestions one could stop
the country from sliding into a prolonged slowdown.
JAPAN - TOYOTA: Japanese news reports say Toyota Motor Corporation is expected to
suffer its first decline in annual global sales in a decade this year.
The world's second biggest automaker is expected to sell about
eight-point-three million vehicles this year, down from
eight-point-four million units in 2007.
Combined with affiliated companies Daihatsu Motor Company and Hino
Motors, Toyota is expected to sell about nine-point-three million
vehicles in 2008, short of its 2007 mark of nine-point-five million
The new figures show the effect the global financial downturn is having
on the auto industry as a whole.
CHINA - UN - PRODUCT SAFETY: The United Nations is calling on China to create a unified system of
ensuring the safety of its food products, in the wake of a tainted-milk
scandal that has taken on global implications.
The U.N.'s World Health Organization released a report today urging Beijing to set up a single regulatory agency that
controls the safety of food products from the farm to the table.
The report says China's oversight of food products is split between
numerous agencies and their tasks complicated by numerous laws and
NORTH - SOUTH KOREA: South Korean President Lee Myung-bak says North Korean leader Kim Jong
Il is still running the isolated state, despite concerns raised in
Seoul about the dictator's health.
In an interview with French newspaper "Le Figaro," Mr. Lee says he does
not believe there have been any changes in North Korea because of Mr.
South Korean intelligence sources have speculated Mr. Kim suffered a
stroke in August, after he failed to appear in public for more than one
month. North Korea released still photographs of the communist leader
last week, including one of him inspecting a military unit.
US POLITICS: New polls indicate that U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Barack
Obama is widening his lead over Republican candidate John McCain, while
voters say the failing economy is the top issue on their minds.
A CNN poll averaging the results of six different surveys put Obama's
lead at seven points Tuesday, while a Pew Research Center survey gauged
support for Obama at 52 percent to McCain's 38 percent. Analysts said
the results seem to be based on a loss of confidence in McCain and
concerns about the nation's economic problems.
Listen to our World News for details.